things i am freezing to come back to later

after The Larder by Vicki Feaver

the cold shock of the river water kissing my waist
the feeling of realising too late that the sun was branding me red
the taste of heat in the back of my throat, on my forehead, between my palms
the cans of pina colada we bought, the face you pulled after your first sip
the scent of barbeque in the air, the way it brought back a memory i couldn’t touch
the outline of a square where the market once was, evacuated
the way you spread cream on your scones, the way you pronounced the ‘oh’
the light creeping through my curtains at 3am: foreshadowing.
the first day the weather turned, wool strangling me lovingly
the guilt relaxing between my ribs, settling down above my diaphragm
the email i started writing to my old english literature teacher about it all
the smell of charity shops, of other people’s memories
the knowledge that not everything is temporary
this poem.

 

‘things i am freezing to come back to later’ by Katie Kirkpatrick was runner-up in the Forward/emagazine Creative Critics 2020. The competition invited 16-19 year olds to write new poems in response to work shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Poetry.