I didn’t meet you for lunch that day because
I had to make a fucking run for it.
I had to put as much distance between me
and that place as I could.
I had to walk through the snow
Though the frozen bits blinded me with cold,
I had to see my breath in front of me.
The white vapor that meant I was still here.
I had to trudge on
with that bag on my back,
the weight of it eroding a valley
in the soft skin over my shoulder bone.
I had to be outside longer
to feel myself in the cold.
‘Til my outsides matched my insides.
‘Til I could no longer stand it.
Until there was no choice but
to go back inside,
dripping and shaking and
admit what the hell I’d gotten myself in to.
more by NOELLE CURRIE
photograph by Ashim D’Silva