Missed

by Cleo Hanaway-Oakley

Content warning: miscarriage

 

I thought you were something
But you are nothing.
Not nothing, but not the thing
I want you to be.

You’re a heavy absence,
Blackness on the screen.
Languid, yet visible void,
Sac within a sac.

Dotted lines mark the place
You should have been.
A pirate’s map marks an empty
treasure chest.

Time tussled with space:
Five, six, seven, eight …
X by X millimetres.
Sure of your dates?

I thought you were coming
But you are going.
Not going, but coming
Away from me.

CLEO HANAWAY-OAKLEY

Cleo Hanaway-Oakley teaches literature and liberal arts in Bristol. She lives in Oxford and spends most of her free time sauntering through Florence Park with her dog and daughter. She is new to creative writing but has previously published literary and film criticism, including her latest book James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film (Oxford University Press, 2017).