Maybe We Could Have by Oliver Shrouder (Lucent Dreaming Issue 11)

Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.

if we went to a different school, a different place
if we grew at the same time if your body
bulging with adolescence wasn’t a foot taller
than mine if I had said something
during the three months I was taller than you
if I knew being taller than you had mattered
during those almostmen conversations
when bodies were a joke, or a means
to collect scars from bike pedals
and tarmac if I asked to sit next to you
during registration instead of nesting
at the back left window or if I’d known
you liked facial hair before Dad taught me
how to shave the crumbs of mine if
you had opened your backpack to show me a letter
or a flower instead of the latest Darren Shan
if you knew it was the reason I spoke about
Cirque du Freak for the next six months
if you invited me to yours not just for parties
if I drank if I was drunk enough
if I smiled more had a chance to say it
when you gave me and just me
some of the banana bread your Mum made
if I smiled less
if you wondered why I always said
you should wear burgundy or I love that haircut on you
if you noticed how I felt when your hand
brushed thigh when you stood
if you had noticed it almost
between my thighs like a hand
in a backpack if you had said
I like this fabric or is that okay
if you had said anything except sorry
if I had said anything
before your phone background changed
from Blur to you and someone else
posed beneath the reddening sun
of my reflection

Oliver Shrouder is a MA Poetry student at the University of East Anglia. Hailing from Grantham, twice voted the most boring town in England, he was inspired to write anything he could to escape from it. Now a poet, he explores themes of wildlife and masculinity in Norwich.

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Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine and book publisher for beautiful, imaginative and surreal fiction, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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