Lily 19

by Stuart Airey

You weren’t what I ordered
but I took you in anyway
well it was 3am
you were obviously broken
the angle of your left arm
you headed straight to the window
looked out over the city
etched a perfect snowflake in the glass
it wasn’t even winter

You watched me all night
I pretended to sleep
I think you smiled
that special way with static
moving the hairs on my neck
finally I dreamed a lake
when you didn’t move
with the sunlight
I got up to make coffee

It was cute at first
you spoke French
but couldn’t cook
or walk in heels
scrambled my passwords
set off car alarms
and those nights
you jumped off the balcony
made it up the 5 floors
before I got to the door
when no one was watching

When I dreamed you were rewiring me
I woke to find you were
some nanobot thing I guess
a delta of spreading slender tipped joy
by the time they crashed through the windows
we were fractal mirrors
our blood the sea of Nectar

We are the moon now
liquid without water
cruising the night vendors
our favourite Hungarian
I get the groceries
you smudge the bank accounts
we laugh at our quirks
my rib
your arm

Stuart Airey lives in Hamilton, New Zealand and writes poetry and the odd short story. He has been published in the Ocotillo Review, Molotov Cocktail, and featured twice in the NZ Given Words Poetry Competition. He was a finalist in the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Awards.
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