Sea Song. | Downtown. by Angela Sun (she, her)

for aunty who lives on the floor above

weren't you there the night they struck you down  or some place yellowed with oil  waiting for the last call  touch and go on the other side of the phone  his window swallowing cop lights like liquor  into a pitch black gut you pour out of every morning  this growing bellied nausea  you keep steady as plates  steadier than his hand on the baby kick  on the crushed mattress clogged with cannabis  a living room pasture  before this country smoked you out  like a culling  with the sticklebacks caught up this time  and you watching his clinched wings buoyed above their sirens  and didn't he kiss you once and call you that  as if your tongue wasn't punctured into foreignhood  as if this would survive the storm  and as if dream could be  for you  more than a verb

It's the thick quiet of winter and I'm outpacing the clammy sort of cold you get when your body is exorcising loneliness. I'm running out of angles to turn; I'm turning to pockets of tree-lined darkness: to hide and shake off the calloused print of streetlamps on my vapoured-up glasses, and watch the olive-green groves get licked yellow by bicycle lights in squeezes of electricity. Last night, across the street, I did this too. Brushed past kids in heavy coats (and one of them halted the brake on their bike to let me pass) and the metallic press of those gears sifting through the wind sounded like summer so briefly, I could close my eyes and taste its phantom of promises, how daylight made it innocent to be pink and restless. I walked around the sequestered frozen grass and youth was coagulating around all the stop signs and sleeping security guards. You dog–– stop playing dead and show me where it glitters. Show me the teething skyline of high towers, your men of red lips, show me how our bodies light them up. A city is no more than a chronic infection, and I counted, I did: on the cream moonlight of that twenty four-hour foyer to harbour time like a refugee. But now that there's new money between us and I'm on strictly non-speaking terms with midnight, these weekday confessions are atrophying like long-distances phone calls. You cursed me down, you whore, solitude creeping in like the seasons, no one to weigh the cellophane wrap of thickening duvets. You’re no good for me. I have to love you all by myself.

Angela Sun is a writer from Edinburgh and a student in Evolutionary Biology. Her hobbies include guitar playing and arguing about the practical applications of her degree. You can find her work upcoming in Heavy Feather Review and The Summer Gothic anthology from Panorame Press. She is currently celebrating Michelle Yeoh. You can find her on Twitter @blessphemey.