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A candle burns low on the window sill,

no wax, wick left except

enough to smoulder,

enough to remember


Moments in black and white.

No sound, no sound expect

her voice her laugh her breath.

No feeling in my arms-

every feeling in my chest-

from clutching her so tight.


All contrast with raven curls and skin like cream,

no gradient, no warmth except

the blush flushing check to chest

and her mouth,

with that forked tongue of flame.


Then no glow, no stars

no sun, no light except

for the hundred candles, asking

begging for her to return

and prove it was love- not revenge-

that warmed me.


Tears- the first since my mother-

spill- and there's

no answer, no answer except

you need a second chance,

and a second chance

is the thing you won't have.


He's right,

There are no second chances,

no second chances except

the one holding me,

and it's enough to remember


Kodachrome: every colour

and no blurs, no blurs except

his eyes his fists his feet.

No air in my lungs-

every molecule for him-

because I couldn't breathe without him.


All sharp with razor instincts and a fuse

like dynamite,

no softness, no softness except

for hesitant words

while the car was licked by flames.


Then no laughing, no partnership,

no words, no words except

"You put in your transfer,

I'll put in mine."

And I was shaking

-not from the shock or my anger-

but because he proved it was him

that warmed me.


Tears-the first in my presence-

spill, and there's

no comforting, no comforting except

a hand on the shoulder,

because I'm scared.

You've only ever cursed and kicked,

never cried.


Now your grip tightens and I freeze

no movement, no movement except

you settling back to sleep, and I try

to follow you back under,

but the last of the light illuminates your face,

and I am transfixed.


You, with your experimental hair and little snores

that no one, no one except 

you could make me love so ardently.


It's you,

your acceptance your friendship your love

that lets me breathe,

lets me extinguish the candle

and lets me live instead of remember.