a year (in three months) by Jake Ormrod

i can hear you crying from the hotel bed
your anguish bouncing off the walls of the bathroom
the wails unhinged
binging on the regret that you let someone in
someone not fit for purpose
someone who has lured this need to cry out of you.

what was once a fortress has crumbled, a crack made chasmic
by another man who now joins the rank of problematic men you've let inside
allowed them to hide in the rooms of your mind
flip through the folds of your brain
no shame
because, with them
with me
in my arms
you're free
to let loose a past of tragedy and disaster
faster to anger but closer to calm
my voice a balm for your troubles.

then you come out.

your face is buried in a fresh white towel
the rest of your body unleashed
free from a leash that you've been straining against for years
and you look up from the towel
and there's tears
and tears
saltwater filled with fears of a future without me
without us.

you apologize again for making a fuss
i say that it's fine
which makes you cry more,
but with a smile this time.
we keep fucking
or making love
i'm not sure which.

you writhe
and you moan
and you scream
and you twitch
as i scratch an itch again and again
and then we sleep.
"hibernation" is what you call it
filling up on me
for free
while you have it,
before a year's big sleep
a fevered sleep filled with dreams and nightmares
as i creep from room to room
in the house in your head
infecting your memories from that hotel bed.

breakfast is a blur
but the walk to the station
is a ten minute pilgrimage
of a perfect image
two lovers in the rain
the beautifully grey stain of Manchester, a perfect backdrop.

hugging and kissing for minutes seems essential
as you wait for your train
the hi-vis jackets of the men at work
distracting me momentarily
until you tell me you will always love me
and i see tears on your cheeks,
so i wipe them away
and say that everything will be okay
not believing myself
but reassuring you anyway.

i leave quickly as you walk to your train
never knowing if you turned back to wave.

you don't know
but a piece of me leaves with you
not in your head
but your heart.