Poetry Weekly – Goodbyes

by Katie Meynell | October 14, 2018

(a) conversation

I laughed and laughed through a mouthful of beads,

teeth crunching plaster

tongue folding plastic

to powdery wisps of lettered strings.


Inside his eyes stood a tiny fist


swinging and knocking in reach —


“The night isn’t always shouting and crowded.”


Our brains rolled swollen

in slowing rivers of pebbled thought.

We looked on as thought chased word

and ums formed a pattern

of wincing jars, lining the pavement

boldly shining


I stood there waiting, awkward and upright


So in the end he returned my disappointing smile

and I walked back through splintered glass

scattering moonlight across grey.


He turned at the noise —


a jar


rolling towards the smile of the headlights



She stepped on his foot at the crucial moment

while trying to force his favourite smile.

He did the same to be funny, but glanced

in way that displaced the goodbye.


Their gazes played on the grey of the kerb

as a passerby hummed ‘Let it Be’.

Her eyes watched his as he looked for the rain

to blur what he’d started to see.


For a few minutes after, she rooted her feet

watching the rain on her laces. The roots

spread, so she snipped off the ends

and planted the pain in her pocket.


Over the road the girl in blue

was soaked with vicarious feeling.

The dangling frays of her bottomless

jeans dissolved as she lit up from seeing.


She lowered her gaze, recovered her face;

pretended third-wheeling was fine.

While observing the boy meander his

way, her bus for home left on time.


Katie Meynell is the editor of The ISIS for Michaelmas Term 2018.

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