(baby don’t hurt me) by Waverly SM (Lucent Dreaming Issue 7)

love is a nectarine if anything, narratologically
significant of course, 99 cents from the ralphs
down the street or love is small change rescued
from the cafeteria and a shared detergent cup 
to wash a dress clean of heartbreak

or an echo of a song, a hand like an anchor
in the unmooring night or a mourning
borne together, a raised glass or a worn-down 
silence held careful close and cherished
love is holding i suppose, like recognition

like listening like acknowledgement, love
is a seat at the table for the left-behind the lost 
dancing through the long goodbye, savouring
every instant every triumph, a little stone
sheltered safe in my bruised fruitflesh heart.

Waverly SM is a speculative fiction writer preoccupied with apocalypses, impossible choices, and the ambient trauma of living in the world. They’re a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow and have been mentored, as part of a cohort of emerging LGBTQ+ voices, by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Waverly studied English at Newnham College, Cambridge; since then, their work has appeared in magazines and anthologies both in print and online. They can currently be found trying to approximate the anchorite lifestyle in Oxford.
Browse issue 7 in full.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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