When We Have Nothing
Come with me when we have nothing,
picnic on air. The blanket we roll out
is the shadow of lovers who lay in parks
barefoot, planning their lives. Lie with me,
where the cutlery is laid in no particular
order, pick up a knife forged by what’s left
of the day, slashing through the shed.
Ours hands know better, but reach
for invisible peaches, a slow dance of fur
we dare to imagine courting our fingers
picking strawberries that simply aren’t
there. Our fruit is fatly unripe, waits for a rash
of July to colour it in. Our hearts are
the same, outlines, studded with promises
that stick in our teeth. Come, bite in
now while our stomachs storm a thunder
and our eyes are lightning, forked to strike.
Angela Readman’s short story collection Don’t Try This at Home won a Saboteur Award, and The Rubery Book Award in 2015. Her poems have won The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Essex Poetry Prize and the Charles Causley.