The Liminal Hours
A chase of messages illuminates my screen
through the small hours. Did I just see you?
I’m sure I glimpsed you dancing, that green
dress, the way you tilt your head to admire
the view. These banshee hauntings
my poor abandoned dates, lost lovers?
What made them to conjure me?
The grade of rain? Do I slink? Do I down
a familiar side street in one port city or other.
as they lean against a crowded bar, raise a glass
to their lips, too far, too drunk, to catch more
than a flick of my strange-coloured hair?
Do I lean into another under an umbrella
linger to clinch a kiss, taxi-vanish?
Where are the visitors who turned up
at my door with bunches of flowers.
Those who called me Fire, Aubergine,
Flower Girl ? Those who held
my hand over a Sunday matinee film or
cheap wine carafes. I see a queue of them waiting
for a gig or a bus or me. Some mouth words
that mist in the rain before they reach my side.
Where are the ones who ghosted me, who swear
they glanced me in the liminal hours?
All those I’ve yet to spook?
Susie Wild is author of the poetry collections Windfalls and Better Houses, the short story collection The Art of Contraception listed for the Edge Hill Prize, and the novella Arrivals. Her work has recently featured in Carol Ann Duffy’s pandemic project Write Where We Are Now, The Atlanta Review and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She placed second in the Welshpool Poetry Festival Competition 2020, was highly commended in the Prole Laureate Prize 2020, and longlisted in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition 2018. Born in London, she lives in Cardiff.