Since Records Began by Beth Booth

When my parents spoke of time, they spoke of
gig smokers and dissertations carefully written
by typewriter. What relics would I inherit,
we wondered: cassette tapes, a floppy disk
with my name on it, the Millennium party at which
I was convinced the world was ending, because
my reality had always had a nineteen tucked
safely at the front. These improbable antiques.

They did not speak of remembering another country,
of how the sodden summers of my youth would
become nostalgic, those single miraculous weeks
of unceasing sunshine almost a laughable
luxury. The sun is everywhere we turn now.
Adulthood is an SPF moisturiser and
a growing sense of doom.

I bought a desk fan in that sweltering July
and lugged it back to my tiny flat, uphill,
the climate’s breaking up overshadowed
by my relationship’s. Always bad with
the heat, I was tired and irritable and
hopeful that this could not last.

It lasted. We lived in the path of
that fan and nowhere else. We ate
cold food and slept on top of the
covers, and I dreamt about
disaster. The irony that we used to
wish for months like this was not
lost on me, the change never
so stark. We stewed and stayed
until we were pushed up to
the very point of hopelessness,
until at last

the heat broke like an egg,
and it rained.

Beth Booth

Beth Booth is a musician and poet from Liverpool via Cumbria, and an MFA student at the Manchester Writing School. She won the Miriam Allott poetry prize in 2016 and Ink, Sweat and Tears pick of the month in 2020, and has had poems published in The Moth, Lighthouse, and Orbis. 

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