Self Unsaid by Nick Devlin


we’ve been pulling off this plaster for months,

each stopping the other from tearing it off

in one swift sting,

each pushing back in turn

when the wound below looks raw.


the autumn nights point us away againclockwork


repeating the motions of last time ‘round,

smelling the same air

on the same streetlit roads.


it’s still raw beneath the plaster

but when it’s healed I’ll want the scar.

on autumn nights

i’ll run my fingers where the plaster used to lie

and repeat the motions, remember all over again.


and when the names of streetlit roads

are shed like leaves, lost in swept-up piles,

i’ll take a shard of the old clockface

and run it where the plaster used to lie


and while the wound below looks raw

we can play with the plaster again.


Nick Devlin is currently living and studying in York. He writes poetry when he’s left with no other