Over great absences speckled with birds
wings, a spell is lifted – dusk
like a recited dance. Routine splashes gold on
chimneys and paves cobblestones with colour.
Breath hangs between footfalls in gasps.
Stacked houses watch through gaps in
heavy curtains as she threads herself together.
She knows she’ll miss the smell of your skin, as she
watches you sleep – the breath leaves morning
lungs on the street and chooses your window
She puts her coat on quietly and stands
in the doorway. An oak cries a leaf outside for the way
she smiles at your stillness.
You will wake up alone,
and great absences speckled with bird’s wings
will watch the breath fall in tears from your window.
Celestine Stilwell (they/him) is a transgender poet and visual artist based in Durham, who has previously won the Langaland Spoken Word Competition 2019, and the John Gurney Creative Writing Award 2019.