There’s a photo: we’re tall in onesies jumping on a hummus-stained sofa
and I’m wearing the red lipstick our friends called mutton.
For days, I analysed my pout and posture with a vainglorious microscope
to see the atoms bounce and electric energy pop.
At the house party reading Catch 22, I spin you in your fabled wheelchair
for the camera, the poppers manufacturing white noise in our brains.
For days, I questioned my profile: am I increasing? Is this thirty-something
metabolism slowdown? Is it?
Then my head rests cold on your shoulder; you employ a nursing gaze while
I own that Baby Spice smile.
For days, I pored over the puffiness of my cheeks; with the attention to
detail of a TV detective whose reputation is on the line.
Wasted in Hvar at 4am, floating face down in the freezing swimming pool
letting fairy lights on the surface circle my frame like a chalk outline.
For days, I admired the size of my arse, perfect proportions, the result of
months’ sprinting, spinning and planking. Months.
Our selfies in Shoreditch, zipping about like dodgems, all smashed erratic
paying serious notes to guess cocktail ingredients in the dark.
But I never looked at you. I forgot.
I should have seen, surged and flickering, your conductive ubiquity.
Artificially artificial, an electric oomph that deserves to sit on the coffee table of every room.
You are a light switch. You are the plug,
Maybe I missed it because you are the flash that made the pictures possible, and I
am simply the senseless object.
Amy Charlotte Kean is an advertising strategist, lecturer and writer from Essex. Her stories, rants, reviews and poems can be found on many sites including The Guardian, Disclaimer, Shots, Litro, Ink Sweat & Tears and the Drum. Her first book, The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks, was released in November.