Your name kicks my arse
nearly as far as the roundabout
where Jenny and Kim lounge
on the grass trying to get a tan.

Fate gave them their pasty skin,
or their parents did anyway,
emoting shut-eyed karaoke
in the snug of their local pub.

That’s where I heard your name
mentioned in connection with…
never mind what else I heard.
Jenny and Kim fade from grey

to grunge. I become invisible.
It’s the only way to survive
the brown-aired traffic whipping
up a grainy whirlwind that knocks

over the empty cans of Red Bull.
None of us can fly off this island.
We cordially detest each other.
The rest of the city growls on.

Gritty bodies make space, shuffle
uneasily round your name, roll up
and light up against the soot.
This is how friendships form.



Gillie Robic was born in India and lives in London.  Her first collection, Swimming Through Marble, was shortlisted and published in 2016 by Live Canon  who also published her second collection, Lightfalls, in October 2019.