I wrote this about a girl I once knew. She was agoraphobic. I tried to imagine what it was like and this poem was the result! An illustrated version of this poem first appeared in FLUX magazine, an arts and culture magazine I think is still going and on sale in the newsagents of Manchester 🙂


The world is too vast today,
Tops of buildings
No nearer than nebulae
And dizzy as stars.
How you must envy the girl
Who does not fear the sky,
The clouds her wig
In procession of pleasure,
Intimate with blue.

Love is always too far,
Distant as colour from monochrome,
Perfect as the world that waits
To suck and spread you out.
How you must envy the man
Who sits and shivers
In his dark, hating the walls
That squeeze out atmosphere,
Unafraid of openness.

Your view is cinemascope,
Lens at every angle,
Surrounded by voices
That hush and shush you
As eyes hammer nails into flesh;
Light drags you this way and that,
Kissing you and kissing you,
Greedy as a vacuum
And as merciless.

No choice but to ripple inward,
Hit the deck as life snipes,
Crawl from the crowd
And find some womb to hide you.
How you must envy the walking
Who do not suffer hurt from space,
Who do not need to fear,
Who do not feel the stretch of emptiness.

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