Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash

Crack!
The sound of the whip I use
to flagellate myself reminds me of your name,
A short, sharp syllable full of spiked consonants.
Crack!
Each status I see you tagged in is another lash,
for which I can never truly brace myself.
Crack!
Up pops a photograph I expected to see eventually,
I thought I was…

Photo from https://www.piqsels.com/en/public-domain-phhttps

Earlier this year something unprecedented happened: I called time on a friendship. Not permanently, but I got to the point where I needed a break. Somewhere along the line it had all got too much for me. It was too intense, too bogged down in negativity, and it was no…

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

There is a voice that lives inside my head-a sly, reedy little voice whose sole purpose is to undermine my confidence. She loves nothing more than dredging up old fears and insecurities and heaping fuel onto them. She has sabotaged my plans on a number of occasions over the years…

Photo by Nicolas Ladino Silva on Unsplash

‘You know the rules. Ten photos only. Once taken, they cannot be changed, so choose your moments wisely.’

I nod to show I’ve understood and take the camera. It’s a hefty black contraption of the kind used by professional photographers, and at first the idea of them entrusting me with…

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

Set fire to your scars,
the ones etched on your soul in invisible ink,
imprints of careless words hurled long ago,
tease them out,
don’t be scared of them,
they are yours now
to do with what you will,
grind them into dust and scatter them to the wind,
or lock them in a box and toss them…

Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash

Absence accumulates so quickly.
That a quarter century should go by since she was last here is preposterous to me,
and yet not having her here has been my normality for the majority of my existence.
And still, after all this time, not a day goes by when she doesn’t find…

Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash

I dodged a hail of bullets once,
I wept as I watched them go by,
I wished I could snatch them out of the air
But knew better than to try.

You see back then I mistook them
For something else altogether:
A soaring flock of pretty birds
With iridescent feathers…

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Kirsty and I were the first. It was our idea, concocted late on a Friday night when she was staying over mine. We were sitting facing each other on my sofa in our pyjamas, our knees so close the were almost touching, and our second bottle of pinot noir was…

Lauren Phillips

Lauren Phillips is a language teacher and writer with a deep love of words in all their forms. She uses writing to help her process her own tangled thoughts.

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