‘Washing Cycles’

The rhythmic hum of the washing machine
reminds me that not all metronomes are perfect
and that water smells like flowers sometimes
and that sometimes it smells like mud
and that you are still in the room.

You sent me teardrops in damp envelopes
and poems you didn’t write.
And I realised your voice doesn’t sound like the wind
through leaves anymore,
but I am not allowed to miss that –
or the aftertaste.

So, I stare back at the whirlwind box in the corner,
dripping with sweated water,
as I breathe in its shaking sound.
You look to me like I should say something.
I do not.

You only miss the sky when there’s a ceiling,
only miss the horizon when there’s a wall
and I only miss you when there’s a flaw.

I shudder electrically,
and you move to warm me with blanket arms.
I step back again
and tell myself that emotions are not books and I cannot trust them.
I cannot read what you’re thinking
but know that it tastes bitter.
I sip the sugar of the sound of rain and turn back to the corner.

There comes a point where each lost boy is just a boy.

The washing machine beeps.
Hazy silence drops to the floor
and a cold door handle begs one of us to leave.
I don’t recall what happened next.
Only that now, I’m alone.

The Poor Print

The Poor Print is Oriel College's student newspaper, with contributions from across the JCR, MCR, SCR, and staff. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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