42 Bus, In the Dark Room
I sit on the 42, a neon nail salon sign winks at me, slicing paths through the dusk's froth. And the bus
needs all of the help it can get. The sky is souring like blaukraut, Little tides, cabbage leaves mingling
wide. Clear umbrellas are popular, people like to stare up high at what's relentlessly falling into them.
I sit on the 42, typing and deleting my words. Am I really a modern writer if I don't understand SEO? I
Google myself to find a woman in Oregon with the same name has poisoned her husband with rat killer.
This feels wrong. Let me start again.
I sit on the 42. There is a man sat on a bag-for-life.
3 girls at the back of the bus look like velveteen angels; lips glossed in 90's baby saliva, blue crystal lids,
silk slips and they are mocking my existence. Are the bus seats made of a kind of blue velvet too? I
smooth my midweek frizz and wonder if anyone will ever find me kohl eyed and ethereal. I text my
girlfriend 'so, do u still love me?'. She says yes, so I tell her 'want to buy u a cobalt velour couch' knowing
full well that my pockets are lined with lint and love alone.
I sit on the 42 next to a man who bought three bottles of gin, 15 tinnies, and a pack of Ginsters pasties.
Why are some us always thirsty? Beer cans dribble on the floor. I stare out of the window and try not to
think about the dregs edging towards my boot. I watch him watching a photograph of a naked woman on
his phone. He notices my eyes and scrolls down to clothe her back into her code, same way a lover would
pull a curtain closed to stop a neighbor seeing their partner dressing.
I sit on the 42, My synapses whisper like voices through tin telephone wires. I am allergic to some nuts, I
haven't figured out which, but I eat them all just for the thrill of pleasure before my throat swells up.
I am sat on the 42. No matter all of this, I can’t break away from myself. There are memories that sit over
your bare retina like a translucent veil, always there, always seeking for you to notice. During the last
poetry workshop I went to I was asked to build a narrative and I had an identity crisis. The world is too
beautiful for narrative. I want to live in the moment of rain felt on the skin, the taste of a peanut, the feel
of a bus seat, a flicker of a sign.
In the Dark Room
The monobath stains our lips a bitter blue
an impression of a field I’ll never see again
your wide eyes develop right in front of me.
And this is how we found love:
£3 wine in a screw-top bottle and
an afternoon tucked
Me, lilac-haired and jejune,
ghost bleached by exposure and
the race for your heart.
An outline of hands dripping in borrowed light,
buttercups bent backward over grass,
plans conceived in intimacy:
together, we would help
the dandelion seeds spread,
as if our puffs of breath alone
could have birthed a generation,
as though our mouths were not already
pressed together between pale sips.
My skin pricks as I agitate the tank,
rinse off the developer.
Your eyes are clouded with silver halide;
I dip your gaze into bleach-fix.
Georgie writes poetry about the overlaps between identity, self-growth and queerness. They completed their BA in English at the University of Bristol, before completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. They are the founder of Chatback Poetry, a series of poetry workshops and zines investigating how young people can be encouraged to develop their self-expression through poetry funded by The Arts for Recovery Centre. They has been published in a number of anthologies including Mancanthology, Disobedient magazine and I, Enheduanna. They are interested in permeating the static spaces between music and spoken word poetry to make a new way to communicate, and reviews for The Quietus, Clash Magazine and Metal magazine.