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Street Cleaners


You can’t sleep,

You roll around in my sheets,


Unlike the boy who slept in with me until three in my loft bedroom,

I would kiss you a million times just to wake you up from your doze.

When the sun rose, we draped sheets over the windows

To stop the light entering our cocoon.

Now you can’t settle

so I tell you to go.


It’s 5.03 and the sun’s beginning to show on the curtains,

Night’s gone

but it’s not quite morning yet either.

There’s a distant whirring coming from the street cleaners outside,

It reminds me of walking through our sleeping city

the first time I left with you.


You kiss me on the forehead, you tell me to sleep,

You zip up your jacket, you walk down the hallway,

You run down the stairs, the door clicks shut.

I lay in silence,

Your headlights beam up my bedroom wall,

Your engine whirs as you hit first gear, your tyres roll away on the cool tarmac.


I haven’t moved since the noise of your engine

bled into the early morning silence.

In summer when the sun rises

This silence usually kept for darkness lingers,

And I think about how still the world would be

Without us.


You’re on the highway now,

Tracing the route from mine to yours

For the last time.

Every headlight soaring past you

A marker of the direction you’re choosing to take.

You turn off and approach your side of the city,

My side twinkling in your rearview mirror.


Morning shows bold on my curtains now.

I slide my leg over to reach the soft, cotton-shaped you beside me;

It’s lukewarm

Your heat’s fading fast.

The chatter of birdsong outside my window

soothes a moment I had tried so hard to run from.

It had forever lurked around the corner

for me and you.


Maybe I’m too tired,

But all I feel

is peace.

This entry was posted in: Words

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