Hugh Smith


you’re my favourite person in this section of the room
it’s because of your hair
no one else in this section of the room has hair

they have a whole security gate between this section of the room and the other sections to stop people with hair getting to this side
I’m surprised they even let you through the first door (those eyes, I mean!)

you do everything as though it was 1959,
as though there were no moon

there you go again, negating climate change
with the swiftest of elbows:

are you a deer?

you were you in a past life but now
you are a deer, I think

1960 was a door you refused to open
you liked the sofa too much
you described the selection of books next to the sofa as mighty fine

your hair is invisible to all security staff
your hair is as visible to me as it is invisible to them

it produces a small breeze which goes a couple of metres to the right and then returns on the path it cut
blowing around your eyes
are you a fan? are you wind power? is renewable energy your super power?

what kind of mad sacrifice is this, coming forward in time, leaving the sofa and the books piled alphabetically on the sofa just to release the small amount of wind energy which might make the difference? are you Jesus of the ice-caps? will you be my girlfriend? there is a film showing right now in the cinema in my mind there is one extra seat do you want to sit on it?

the film won’t be about you, I’ll make sure of that, it will be interesting

my ears are hot with all this

only messages on post-it notes can describe you
only when they are placed on your back without your knowing do they describe you
only when your back is utterly naked and you still do not feel them being placed
do they describe you
only when there is nothing written on them
only when there is the eternal promise that nothing of any kind will be written on them
and they are on your back
and I have my hands round your front
and your bra is on the floor
and I am not tripping over it
it hasn’t tied my ankles together
but one day you will tie my ankles together with a bra

only in this world
can you be described
and only in this way
and it is better if even this too is avoided

if the ice caps melt, you say, it will only happen when they move slowly
across my lower thighs and then rest there with you watching then

then I will permit
a short period of melting, you say

I am the whole of 2015 when you look at me
I shed Junes like a snake sheds itself
but I do not miss them when they are gone
I use them up utterly, they are no more than junk after I have passed through them

you play hide and seek at the far side of the months
to motivate me to wake up and breathe
all while still generating enough breeze
to keep the planet balanced

but you manage to avoid seeming unapproachable despite all this
in fact you make all other people seem unapproachable in comparison
everything you do is an invitation delivered to my heart
which has the exact time it was written
written on it and that time always corresponds
to the time it arrives

and it takes up no space
it does not get crowded in my heart

it is an invitation
postmarked by my ears and nose
before finally arriving in the heart
as I said

all superfluities removed
just the concept of invitation
carried by the breeze
your hair makes

all the way from your mouth and nose
past my mouth and my nose
down into the nowhere
of the human heart

you are arriving now
1959 is behind you
I am the mattress you fall out of the sky of time onto
I break your fall and comfort you
I perform 1959 in its global entirety
it makes you nostalgic
but in a good, bodily way:
I am so much more than 1959
though I contain it with myself
look at these arms
for example
these legs

I introduce the things you have missed slowly
through intuitive acts of mime
I incorporate elements of your mother and father and grandparents’ gestural quirks
into my mime
the years turning into the years turning into the years the way
your father spread the marmalade
before the butter
as his father before him as his father before him and even as his father
before marmalade
had, in some dream,
certainly imagined doing

you say you feel right at home
you say you miss the sofa but the fact you confess to this
proves your capacity to get over it
with my help, in my arms
I go back and get the sofa
I multiply it by eight
I multiply you by eight
you sit on them

I multiply 1959 by myself by you by the sofa
I sit on you sit on time your father
invents marmalade again
I spread the marmalade on you exactly how he invented it
I invent it on you again in each of the 8 by 8 by 8 sofaworlds
you sigh weakly
there is a smile somewhere on you
the mouth, I think
it is hard to see exactly at this stage of development

the icecaps smile with you

Skin in 1951

the hour of the date with you
came down like a spaceship

I went inside
your body was there
they had been doing experiments on your body
e.g., asking it 
how are you

I barged in
I said I had made the arrangements earlier you have no right
the crop circles widened
looking suspiciously like a line drawing of your body

The dog

The not knowing.
An enormous amount of rain.
Don’t try to count, I whisper.
No reply.

The hour of the day when you become the hour of the day:
I am distinct from 7am but I often cannot tell myself from 7pm.
The twelve hours between? Who knows.
There were birds certainly.
A girl among trees?
The old man who says plum.
Lack of tigress.

It is not about sex or evil for once.
I am blameless with joy.
We are inside our inside.
Here is the leaf,
you put it exactly here.
Silence of it.
Silence of it being put here by you.
The lack of noise in your feet when you sit
vs. the presence of noise in your feet when
you move: ample.

You come over.
Do I have the omelette ready?
Do I eggs, am I
able to love is this
really my saucepan and
I don’t believe your name
is Hannah tonight I can’t believe
what about Eleanor

Eleanor is a name too

I look in the fridge
(I looked in to avoid your eyes, nose)
(I secretly hoped to find your (or Eleanor’s) legs in the fridge but
I only find the sense of being seen
looking for them by you)
there are also seven apples –
does not a fruit salad make
people does not love make.
There is a serial killer in my
left middle toe I have to focus
to keep it there
Dark? You have to be.
The clouds say it, the empty roads.
I forgot cabbages. You put
remember who I am
on the shopping list between
cabbages and the end
of the list and I
forgot cabbages but
I kiss you
I forgot cabbages
I kiss and forget
cabbages I am human aren’t I?
A Wednesday of human.
Your knee there is
this Saturday which is
four days away and
that’s two wrists
two ankles and
the big muscle in the chest, core,
they call it? Can I?
If the tree can do it
I can, and if I can
you can and if you
can why don’t we?
She elbows a 
because across
the blend of light.
Arm is 
hello leg is goodbye! goodbye! 
(but the kind which promises
the next meeting at
the exact middle of the nose
and the ears marry each other
ten years later?)
The dog comes in loudly.
The sky

the sky.

Hugh Smith is a 25-year old writer and teacher from London, currently based in Slovakia. He has had work in The Belleville Park Pages, The Moth Magazine, Similar:Peaks, and at The Cadaverine. Two of his short stories are shortlisted for the inaugural Paris Lit Up fiction prize. More of his writing can be read

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