There in the bed, like dirt or blood, someone else lay, not sure who. They smelt like apricot and drove us wild. We all twisted in the duvet and rolled up tight like a burrito. Sweating and swearing, knotted up all angry-like, dirty white socks and small hands peeked out of the sheets. And the room? The room I suppose was a room. One I haven’t slept in in maybe, probably, yes, over a year now. The bed was always too close to the ground anyway, the bedframe too rustic, the duvet too heavy. Two men scooped against my back was uncomfortable. But that’s impossible. The bed wasn’t big enough. Now in the bed, there definitely is dirt or blood that goes by my name, wears my clothes, speaks like I speak and tries to expand enough to take my place. I cannot stand it. I call it bitch and make fun of everything about it.
Ava Patel won Prole Magazine’s 2021 pamphlet competition with debut pamphlet Dusk in Bloom. She’s been published in webzines (London Grip; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Atrium; Porridge) and magazines (South Bank Poetry; Orbis; SOUTH; Dream Catcher; New Welsh Reader). Dusk in Bloom is available to buy here: https://prolebooks.co.uk/ Instagram account: @ava_poetics