We moved somewhere cold. Very cold.
Because I wanted a job choosing the noise that keyboards make. Away from the toy factory.
It was part of a plan like many thing were at the time. You start with the noises made by the keys and then you work your way up to implementing vowels. I’d done my dissertation on it.
We both thought it might be fine to live in another language.
We had both previously attended to the museums of our families and assumed that this is how it would be. Polishing the cases and making sure the labels were updated. Someone has to be the audio guide. But hearing one another’s teeth on the same wire let us know that the museum runs whether the labels are right or not.
When we left we packed nothing but cards to make new labels.
In your free time, you invented a new card game, which becomes marginally famous.
We spend a little time in some hot boardrooms discussing syndication with Germans, we make a deal, but it is unsatisfying.
At home we complain about the Germans as if they are the ones who make us forget why
exactly we walked into this room.
We spend summers in a courtyard sun bleaching book covers.
Two hands trailed and twined.
We have been trying to train our potted fruit tree to crawl around the entire courtyard. We hope, that when we look up, in years to come, we will see the apples as red perforations around a blue stamp of the sky.
When we argue we sometimes separately light up our faces blue with screens, thinking about missed opportunities.
We send postcards, even though we should use emails.
We like to pretend things here are slower than elsewhere, that this makes our love better
Married in a boat house, I helped you step up on to the ice. It sighs. When I take a step from the water winter groans, and then takes both our weight.
We stretch out our time along one another’s backs. We start to draw maps of home in our off hours. We leave them out for one another, hoping the other will say it first, like when we both know the soup is bad.
But the maps are childish. We resign, that some things are chosen for us.
Christopher John Eggett is a writer and poet from Cambridgeshire and grew up on a mushroom farm. He runs a literary newsletter called Etch To Their Own where he does close readings and reviews of novels, collections, short stories, poetry and so on – usually with a focus on small press and experimental work. You can read these online here. He tweets as @CJEggett.