We’re Alone Together

December 29, 20171 min read

I enjoy ‘people watching’ – it’s always a useful tool when I need inspiration for characters. But, the idea of being alone, with strangers, was the ‘super-glue’ that pulled all these ideas/traits together, and the finished product is this poem. It’s about feeling isolated, while also being surrounded by different strangers – which is ironic to me.

She taps her fingers against glass,
bony fingers,
too frail for labour,
too clumsy for piano,
brittle fingers that will snap.

His voice reverberates along the bus,
Strong and proud,
The silence bludgeoned to death,
Louder than the engine,
That groans under their feet.

She breathes nihilism,
her oxygen,
the world isn’t good enough for her.
It will be,
when she loses everything.

Her eyes dart around
each whisper about her
she’s sure
feet tapping in tentative tempo
soon she’ll never walk again.

He leans against her,
as the bus charges round corners,
together they’re sweet
but it will turn sour. Like
milk boiling in the sun’s stare.

They all panic, engine whining,
and roaring,
and screaming as it bolts,
to hug the lamp-post,
at the end of the road.

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Matthew Tordoff

Matthew Tordoff is a journalist/writer for Affinity Magazine and Atwood Magazine. He is an inter-sectional feminist, member of the LGBTQ+ community, and can often be found curled up somewhere warm, with his nose stuck in a book.