Former Constellations

 Leah McGhee

I’ve been dreaming of you on these neighbourless nights;  nights devoid of self-inflicted cryptids and I’m still habitually restless.   

I sneak outside to scry for Vela and Cygnus,      replacing your balcony burnouts with my own cancerous comforts. 

On the burgundy bench, we’d spend our sunburnt slumbers.   We’d carve new stories of former constellations.  

Here, you’d tell me your unrelentless feelings about the cosmos and all its beige healing.   

I never believed you, you’d meet my jokes and sceptic sighs.     But all those times, I’d pretend like there wasn’t witchcraft in your eyes.  

On that cold night in July, we were smoking until our hands were just quicksand,  And you told me you don’t want to live quietly.  

Now everything in the world has been silenced, and you’re trying to miss it bravely.  

When you cast your night drive ritual out in the country,   Absent of our chins sticky with cinnamon and whiskey,  

Mind the ghosts you hunt on the pavement.   All your candles and sage could never hex life’s arrival.     No spell could ever forward our time to a better idyll.  

If the mixtape reminds you of summersick days, drive another night.      Maybe it’s best to forget the ultraviolet sky, what cosmic mess we could have made. 

Words and illustration: Leah McGhee, Storehouse Content Team, @leahpatrish

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