Coffee Shop Ballet – A Letter

Hello beautiful,

It’s been a while hasn’t it? How’ve you been? How’s your mother, better? Glad to hear that. And you? Oh. That’s a shame. It’s been an odd few years, I can tell. I can hardly believe it’s been a decade now, more even, since we were there. A coffee, please. Two sugars. No milk.

Do you still remember it, those days? I do. Those folds and fields of green and skies of purest blue, back when we thought that colour was normal and grey was unusual. Back then when a numbness would go noticed since all else we saw was bright multicolour and ultraviolet. Anything was possible so we did nothing; we didn’t know when we’d be allowed to be nothing again.

Your hair is getting grey now. So is your face. Mine too I expect. Ah, this coffee’s too hot – I’ll let it sit. I’m glad you managed to find time to see me now; it seems that there’s never any space between the meaningless continuum of my day by day and night by dreary night life. You miss the stars over the ocean? Me too. I haven’t seen Orion in a while. I guess he must be up there, waving around his sword and playing pirate games, but I find it difficult to look up nowadays. At last, the perfect drinking temperature.

Seeing you now of all times is oh so strange. Like finding a hailstone weeks after the blizzard passed through. My sunburn from your heatwave never really healed, you know? I see you never stopped wearing those earings I gave you either. Funny how life works out; the person who was all too much once is now unavailable when your life becomes all too little.

Would I change it? Yes. In a heartbeat. Every day I turn back the cogs in my watch and slap sense into that self, forcing that frail teenager into action. Could I change it, even had I known? No. That teenager had her reasons, even though this adult has forgotten them. The right people in the right place at the wrong time with the right mindset. We could’ve been stars, you and I. But I know that we would’ve been supernovas. Now look at us, red dwarf stars that we are, too small to give each other a warm welcome on this pale Tuesday afternoon. We’re old in mind and young in soul when – together – we might’ve grown younger through the decades.

Maybe it’s for the best, for I would’ve burnt up a thousand planets for you to notice me. But there’s no point talking in possibles when the cards have already been dealt, played, and stored away, collecting dust on a side cabinet until some curious mind opens the deck to find what secrets once lay therein.

I’ve finished my coffee. Goodbye, old beauty.


Polaroids and Party Snaps – A Letter

Dearest Unknown,

I saw your picture once, black and white, framed by a white border. No date other than a hastily scribbled “1942”, and no place, no name, no epigraph or poem to your grandeur; only a smile and a gaze that could pierce even the most dense of lead hearts and bring fresh warmth to its core. I wondered what happened to you, to that dashing cape that pirouetted through trenches and debris until you and your rifle found your sniper-prey. I wondered if I knew you through another. I counted the degrees of separation. Six, or less. Yes, six. How close yet how far your beauty seemed. But I swear I recognised your smile, dearest, for I’d sworn on it before.

I saw another picture, long before. It was in colour, though it’s subject should well have been ultraviolet for this world could not contain her. She was not you, yet she too had an atomic smile, melting the walls around her. I knew her better, I think. Hardly, but better. She too wore a cape, one that kept her safe from the outside world, from their guns of quickfire bullet-insults and explosive rumours. I wondered momentarily if I’d ever truly know her. That one degree of separation felt like more than the six between you and I. But it was only one, in the same way that the Little Boy was only one bomb and Hitler only one man and my entire existence only one lifetime.

A picture is just a picture. A grain of sand is just a grain. A human is just a goddess descended from the heavens to teach us what we should and should not seek. You and I have no time – you came from another to mine. She and I have no place – we came from two different worlds, a heaven and a hell, doomed to a purgatory of longing – until at last another photo flies onto my writing desk and I fall all over again.

But forget me gently, won’t you?

I will.

Your empty ghost, who loved with an infrared kiss.


Photo: Glitter Texture by Mifti-stock