Poems: Lotte Lewis

Illo for Lotte Lewis's poems.

imposter syndrome

I don’t own a door so I climb out the window. The last time he was seen was on an island somewhere off the coast of this country. No one has seen him since. I mean, I tried the door but it didn’t give. The sound of her feet bracing the welcome mat like planets colliding. Who said we had to worship the sky instead of this floor? Broken & cracked & brimming with apology. CCTV footage shows him at 22.42 buying a packet of silk cut cigarettes, threading one thru his lips at 22.46. The difference between dying & death is that the first lives forever. There he is, walking out of the frame at 22.56. He dies all day long, all life long, a watermark at the corner of sight. Every word I know is another name for she. Nowadays, she turns up to weddings halfway thru the vows, catches herself in the front row fantasising about killing everyone but the bride. Can’t get that white dress stained y’know. The window offered another world but it wouldn’t catch. I no longer write down my dreams, but if I did they would be littered with your name, passed thru rolled down car windows & spread like the history of touch or collapse, find me a difference. This city, sweltering with so many lives & we don’t know where you are. By which I mean, 22.56 is the last we see of you, walking out of the frame. Tell me whether I should strike a match to all these secrets I’m drenched in, I need to know. I thought I saw him on the 468 last week, a newborn baby strapped to his chest. He looked at me right in the eyes as he climbed down the steps & I swear I saw his left one twitch.

on tilt

My brother calls my mother’s birthplace the Texas of the UK. I think of the flat landscape & barren people, the sky touching down on the fields, prairie of my mother’s loss. If only my body were my own. I share the same eyes as the woman selling strawberries on the side of the road & my ancestors lived by the sea & ended up in care homes & graveyards & all the places I wish to avoid, but they do not feel like my people. Whatever happened to the days when a woman was not expected to desire. & where is home when your own body is a stranger? Hymen as a fleshy fruit burst, a body peeling itself apart from skin, blood stains on the bicycle seat & dripping down the playground’s climbing frame, inking slabs of concrete with my insides. I am always running to places where my name means nothing. I walk thru the corridor of a nameless house, glance sideways & I swear I see my father’s body lying flat & unmoving on the bed, his chin tilted upwards & doused in moonlight, his eyes closed in dreaming or in nightmare.
Lotte Lewis is a writer & editor from South London. She practices personal & collective archiving through her writing, in the attempt to articulate, survive & envision new ways of being. She keeps in touch through her newsletter, Shedonism.

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