Literary Orphans

Two Poems
by Matthew J. Hall


her shadows and mine

old skin and thin hair contradict her personality

there is so much of the little girl about her

uninvited, she sits beside me on the waiting wall

I ask how she is and in turn she asks me

I tell her I’m tired

she offers sympathy

but I know that she understands tiredness better than I

so I give her a cigarette

and her brown teeth celebrate by forming a crooked smile

I gesture a light with my small box of matches

she wants to smoke it later

we have run out of things to say

we tell each other to take care

and retreat toward our own respective shadows

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moving forward

the many scars on your arms

are a poorly drawn map


an ink-spilt-blood-journal

they detail all the disappointment

yours and mine


mostly yours

I have my own way

my own blood-letting

my own little book of lies


your name is in it

especially in that dark second quarter

where my skin crawlers took to the bait

where our misunderstanding and ill-informed intentions

raised merry hell


but those days are gone now

and the blue-lit lines are learning subtlety

and even though the hatred is so hard to control

most of the time

I really do hope that you are okay

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Matthew J. Hall is a writer who lives in Bristol, England. More about him and links to his published work can be found on his blog


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–Art by Bostjan Tacol