Judy Darley, Shiksha S Dheda, Amy Barnes, Sue Burge

Reaching

Window cat opposite stretches against sky-high glass.
Wells Road rumbles below. I press thumb to pane; imagine touching paw.
Ears twitch semaphore as gulls swoop.

302 days since I left my house.
302 days since I have given or received a hug.
302 days since I smelt your lavender perfume.

I miss seasick, carsick, first trimesters, roller coaster tummy twisting,
the swirlings of new life, faraway destinations,
passenger seats, loop-de-loop screams. Tight grip, light heart.

We will forget how eyes spoke stories, how touch became
illicit – like tiptoeing down a speakeasy’s dark steps
to pour gin from a teapot. 

Judy Darley is a British writer who can’t stop writing about the fallibilities of the human mind. Her fiction and journalism are widely published, including by Cypress, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Cabinet of Heed. She is Flash Fiction Editor at Reflex Press. Judy is the author of short story/flash fiction collections Sky Light Rain (Valley Press) and Remember Me To The Bees (Tangent Books). You can find her at http://www.skylightrain.com; https://twitter.com/JudyDarley.
Shiksha Dheda is a South African of Indian descent. She uses poetry (mostly) to express her internal and external struggles and journeys, inclusive of her OCD and depression roller-coaster ventures. Mostly, however, she writes in the hopes that someday, someone will see her as she is; an incomplete poem.
Amy Barnes has words published at a wide range of sites including Flashback Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Lucent Dreaming, The Molotov Cocktail and others. She is an associate editor at Fractured Lit. Her first collection of flash fiction is forthcoming in 2021 from ELJ Editions, Ltd.
Sue Burge is a freelance creative writing and film studies tutor based in Norfolk. Her poetry collections are In the Kingdom of Shadows (Live Canon 2018), Lumière (Hedgehog Poetry Press 2018), The Saltwater Diaries (Hedgehog Poetry Press 2020) and Confetti Dancers (Live Canon2021) . More information at www.sueburge.uk 


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