by Safa Maryam

Separate group plans, I’m a fresher again,
Secretly planning for our pub crawls to meet.

Half-heard exchanges deafen each ear,
Sticky spilt drinks condemn my clothes to the wash,
All endured without complaints,
All for the look on your sweet, flushed face,
As it searches for me across Soho space,

As it finds me beneath,
The technicolour stars.

But we’re not nineteen anymore,
Back when you needed drinks in you to be in love with me,
And team schemes to provoke proof of jealousy,
Led you to believe my fit friends wanted me.

No, we’re not nineteen anymore,
Now I’ve outgrown remembering the moments you chose to forget,
Now I can pocket the sliver of bitterness that remains,
Place forgiveness in your outstretched hand,
And stand,
Under those same strobes,
Without your arm around me.

Safa Maryam

Safa Maryam is a 22-year-old daydreamer, sunset admirer, and medical student (in decreasing order of success). She started storytelling when she was 5 and first turned to poetry to make sense of her feelings at the age of 13. She lives in England and in addition to reading and writing poetry, she enjoys painting, singing, and hosting board games nights with her friends. She was a finalist in the 2022 Mslexia Poetry Competition.

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