I have clasped your edges so hard
they leave grooves in my palms,
deep as the grooves of horse-reins
beneath the bridges on towpaths
wasted with bracken and buddleia.
These, and mine,
cut across lifelines:
a geometric interruption.
I cannot document dropping you
on a sunlit day, startled
by the sudden noise of a narrowboat
any more than I can document
but the fall happens
as if both were inevitable.
a drowning of lungs,
the plosion of capillaries,
a haemorrhage behind your eyelids
like a summer storm.
a smaller drowning
though no less significant,
this arcing towards water
of hard edges and palm-deep cuts:
the only photograph I kept of you
after your death.
Did you dive in after it?
she asks me when I tell her
what has happened. I am at a loss
to explain, when I shake my head,
why I didn’t.
It never occurred to me
I might be able to save you
We are constantly approaching the moment
that never arrives:
And against the window,
muggy with cooking clouds
and shot through with a single,
glassy smear where a drop
has fattened and fallen –
Pressing its body in short
movements as if it wanted,
to make love to something solid
As if waiting,
with delicate urgency,
To approach the moment
again and again, wanting to tap but
making no sound because it is too soft
For impact. It flutters like the kisses
of nervous lovers, in and out, in and out
of the pooling light and of my vision as I type
(I realise suddenly)
to the rhythm of its wing-beats.
We are both waiting, I think
for the approaching moment –
For the now
to present itself,
to arrive, finally.
Aki Schilz is a writer and editor based in London. She is co-founder of the #LossLit Twitter writing project alongside Kit Caless, and co-editor of LossLit Magazine. Her poetry and fiction have been published both online (Mnemoscape, tNY.Press, The Bohemyth, Cheap Pop Lit, Annexe) and in print (Popshot, The Colour of Saying, Kakania, Best Small Fictions 2015), and she is the winner of the inaugural Visual Verse Prize and the Bare Fiction Prize for Flash Fiction. Aki works at The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s first and leading editorial consultancy. She is the Editorial Services Manager for TLC, handling submissions and managing a team of 90 professional editors. She tweets micropoetry at @AkiSchilz.