Lover, all my life I’ve been
lightfingered to the nth degree
finagling what wasn’t mine, some
rings and lipstick, once a dress
her sun-drained hair, a hidden glance
two books I loved yet never read
family heirlooms, happiness
(all priced too high, you understand)
but now I’m stealing us more time
pinching ticks from cosmic pockets—
the clocks won’t miss a couple tocks.
Between us and beneath the sheets
I hoard these stolen minutes close,
collecting heartbeats in the silence as
I learn to live your rhythm.
Only in this place, with you, can I
be loved as my unlovely self
be seen, in a more kindly light
than perhaps a thief deserves.
So melt the church bells, take their tolls
smash watches for their seconds—
sustain this perfect, stolen moment
in our timeless slice of heaven.



Sunyi Dean is an autistic fantasy writer, living in inner-city Leeds. Her debut novel, THE BOOK EATERS, is a contemporary fantasy set in Yorkshire, and will be available in bookstores from Sept 2022.