I’ve fucked up and there are things you won’t know when I don’t tell you because pacts are blood, lies are easier, and offences better left under doormats, carpets, coffee froth, contained like tea leaves in tea bags.

I’ve not handed in homework in months and I’ve never had more impetus to do it and I compare every character in every book I do read, film I do see, to the way the skin bunches about your eyes or your trousers skim your torso, tempted with acute functionality.

You gave me an A and you gave me an A and you gave me As and every text, letter, slip of paper signing off with an A, I think you. Every book spine, briefcase, red pen. Every brown eye. Each unexpected chest, all undiscovered skin, each whisper, mistake, lie to fathers, mothers, friends. All the words which could mean you (which is all of them). Collars, coats, waistcoats, vests, haircuts, car doors and rain. The smell of upholstery, the leather of it, on my fingers and my back. The underside of your lip. The inside of your mouth. Every grade I’ll get once you’re gone, hard won. College. Your voice outside my dorm. Waking up, never thinking we shouldn’t do what we want to. Meeting my mother. Understanding my father’s opinions. Rings and dinners and spare rooms and drawers and the letter A. The letter A. A. A. A. A. A.


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