Ruth is a recent masters graduate from Queen Mary University. You can read more of her work on her Instagram (@rltpoetry)
You liked my tweet. A love story begun through mutual appreciation of Barack Obama gifs.
The evening fuelled by that one notification of innocence
To cast secret smiles to the ground, radiating from the walls,
Various flatmate’s faces morphing into concern at this worryingly positive turn
The reply short and full of secrets convincing it’s just a good mood,
Determined to hide the beginning away,
Protected through silences to not let this art of careful subtweets be spoiled from outside commentary.
You sent me a video about tea,
Which I lied, and said I drink constantly,
I do, but only when you offer it to me,
Which was Thursday,
Now its Sunday and no tea has crossed these lips.
I reply within the hour,
You took two
It’s rounding off to six as I force myself to stay awake
Just to watch the satisfying bright light of screen matched with that elusive ding to let this feeling of being desire drift me off to sleep.
You messaged me, ‘have a good night’
Proud you kept tapping through to connect together the blurry stories I shared,
I sipped to forget you,
Let limbs move freely
Controlling the eyes to scan the dark room once, in the hope of finding your gaze was upon me,
But still, I sought stranger’s lips, convinced they were yours.
You talked about a movie.
We moved on to celebrities we fancy,
I mentioned Joe Kerry
And you started using my pen to write down your friend’s’ number,
Saying they look the same.
When I picked him for the resemblance of you.
I think I forgot to say thanks.
You left a note on my desk
Said I owe you 10 quid,
Placing in between pages as a bookmark,
The cover reads love.
I keep leaving it out,
Hoping you’d read the single word,
And all would become clear.
In my head I asked you out for coffee again
I spent the day refreshing hoping there would be a message
On every candle I wished for one typed happy birthday
I’d trade all the other well-wishers for just one from you.
I sat down, just me matched with pen and ink,
The pause to think transporting to endless written lines,
Somehow about you…or we, I hoped silently,
Instead, within five lines stood too naked all that’s contained within my mind
And pressed upload.
For unaware strangers to peruse, commenting, this could really use another verse.
I keep thinking about what we could be
Inventing fantasies I hope we can fulfil
I write tweets
In the hope you’d see
A like is enough to keep sustaining me for one more day anyway
I ignore your passing greeting,
And in that moment, however fleeting
I held a small piece of that power you so often wield
Next to the coffee machine, I made a cup of tea.
I didn’t realise today would be the last message
I grasp at the gap in the door you’ve almost closed
Making a list of things I could change,
To become that someone you’d desire,
And even, adore.
I start to add in black ink which parts to cut away to just be something more
I read over our messages
To find echoes of missed opportunity
You became a horizon contained in a person
I still let myself believe I could reach it.