The book had been upon your lips for weeks.

It was shrouded in your love,

your admiration, still unclear to me.

In lonely bookshop wanders I thought of you.

Of the book, its title

and the way your mouth navigated

the sounds, soft and hard.

It lingered in the corners of our conversations,

presented itself into memories

I was forming with you,

like a petroleum sheen bubble

in a cloudless sky.


When you placed the book in my hands

it was the first thought you had.

It was like handing me all the knowledge of your world,

your first born,

memories of your first day at school,

how you feel when you walk along

a beach or a moor.

It was like handing me the darkest secret,

wiping blood on my hands,

a cake you had baked,

the essence of you.

It was like asking me to hold you,

all that you were, all that you are

and hoping I’d keep you.

When you placed the book in my hands

you granted my heart permission

to grasp the figment of you

I never thought tangible.


In my vigil of reading

you became every character

and the author.

Within these pages a past, present and future dwelt.

The lines on your face traced onto yellowing paper,

the printed ink a tattoo of thought,

of what I was to you or you to me.

In the beauty I found purpose

in the fated connection we didn’t believe in

but revelled in, nonetheless.

My vigil was shared, this wasn’t a journey

to be alone.

Talking to you filled the pauses

and line breaks. You punctuated

the beginnings and ends of chapters.

And in this transaction of words,

stories and people

you held me before a mirror,

a reflection of me.


The girl you gave the book to,

the girl clumsy and loving

who easily bends spines and sleeves,

the girl who sees beauty

in sunlit dust motes, in your hands,

the girl who smiles far too much

and never enough.


The girl who realised, with your book

she possessed all of you

and had fallen in love with you,

as you with her.



Image credit. 

10 thoughts on “Vigil

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