She exhales cigarette smoke,
immediately full of regret
that she didn’t keep it a while longer,
as he spits venom at her,
his eyes dressed for a fight.
She watches the glimmer of lights
in the steamed up window,
from the tree in the kitchen,
unopened presents underneath;
he doesn’t want to talk anymore.
Her head hurts from the whole bottle,
all she can smell is burning.
A ghost of what used to be
is haunting his head and his sheets.
The smell clings to his pillow,
the creases speak of an absent body.
An unparalleled tenderness,
here only yesterday.
We kept the cord;
the shrivelled, blackness.
It’s on the new IKEA bookcase.
smaller than a ten pence piece.
For nine months we said we wouldn’t,
rolled our eyes, turned our noses.
But your flesh is golden.
Kayleigh Campbell is a creative writing PhD student at The University of Huddersfield. She is an editorial assistant at Stand Magazine and has been published both in print and online, including Eye Flash Poetry, Indigo Dreams Publishing and Riggwelter Press. She is a mum to her