by Chloe Orrock
I live in that place that looks like a crossroads
but isn't. Your thumb ripping a border
through the white flag of the envelope. The bang
before you know what exploded, who
it took. The curtained window of an unread
email appearing sudden as a car
around a corner. I am news before
you know what it is—your heart rattling
on the cobbles of two paths carving off
from your now, when only one is real.
The doctor telling you to take a seat.
The phone ringing, and ringing at the door.
The infinitely splitting second as you
wait to know. The pause after you say: hello?
Chloe Orrock (she/they) is an actor and writer from the Midlands (UK), currently based in Brighton. She has work upcoming in Púca Literary Magazine, ubu., and Skylight 47. Her poem Among the Stars recently won first prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition. She is interested in ritual, grief, and transformation; and in women and gender non-conforming people in myth and history. Twitter: @ChloeOrrock but she mainly tweets about snooker.