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the world is smothered by a plastic seal, everything vacuum-packed and ziplock-bagged, and my fingertips are crying out for love, crying out for the hot touch of papercuts and the tongue kisses we like to call splinters. the lines on my palm are joining up the dots between plastic gloves and your arms, telling themselves that these neoprene creases are as soft as the skin on the inside of your elbow.


eyes are everything to me; i am an eleven-year-old girl counting the seconds between stares, clicking the brown eyes box on the does your crush like you back buzzfeed quiz. your eyelashes flutter like fans, relieving my fever and reminding me what breezes used to feel like back when they were allowed. today the wind waits at bus shelters, hides behind terraced houses and sings the grass to sleep. 


how we feel now must be the way that stars feel all their lives: always in sight of each other, always feeling each other’s presence, but kept apart by forces they can’t quite comprehend. we wish on streetlamps, watch them light up in constellations and follow them home, hoping to find a new face at the front door. but the lights are always the wrong shade of orange, and you are always looking down on me from another part of the sky. 

Artwork by Amir Pichhadze.

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