This poem is taken from Stand 219, 16(3) August - September 2018.

Susanna Harding Poem
Aftermath

The bus was overcrowded, steaming bodies  
jostling us, when suddenly you vanished.
A storm of white clothes intervened
and I couldn’t catch sight of you again.
I spent the rest of the journey praying.
Bare rock. Yellow dust everywhere.

I imagined you up in the luggage rack,
secret and slender, like a trick,
which you think is romantic when I tell you:
the fact you were present in my dreams at all,

though your absence is what I grieve over,
trying all morning to account
for not having held on to you,
for having slotted you conveniently above my head
like a horizontal angel,
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