After Kim Addonizio

I noticed it most with the man whose bed was in the living room,

an in breath from the coffee table, two from the sofa, pushed

against the wallpaper we laughed about

before he drank all the water and asked me to spit,

before I started noting where the taps are in strangers’ houses,

it was there the whole time – the want

to acknowledge all the lines and folds

that separated us     to say you will not find porcelain

here, I know it was not form that pulled you in,

but I hadn’t worked out how to communicate shock

at something out of place whilst looking at a printer

with an open mouth in a room not made for a bed.

As the arm pressed down harder the printer spat for me,

spewing out pages covered in pictures of times I had been glad

and before I let the breath out, I saw the time I ran

towards my parents at the end of the festival

and thought maybe the world is ok

and everything is great and aren’t I lucky

and it might have been because we were on holiday

or because my brother could have died or because my dad hadn’t

yet        and it might have been because I had absolutely no reason

to think it possible that I wouldn’t say

if I didn’t like something

or because I was mostly made of stories at that point,

but it was the beginning

of taking pictures of feelings, of storing up

these big world thoughts to send to a printer

I would face one night in a room not designed for sleep,

with a man who didn’t notice

all of these new expressions covering the floor,

dropping on top of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road,

which I would have made so much fun of

if there had been breakfast, if there had been any sort of looking back,

or looking down or labelling of things that did not belong.

PoetErin Bolens, London

Erin is poet, performer and teacher from Leeds, now living in London. She has worked with and written for The Roundhouse, The Poetry Society, Apples and Snakes, The Royal Academy of Art, The Poetry Takeaway and Totally Thames Festival. Her first full collection 'Alternate Endings' will be published in 2020.