Camden, I knew you when I was just a fish, swimming into fortune.
Camden, I saw you coming a mile away, but you had your back turned toward the river bank.
I don’t know your curves, but I can learn.
Camden, will you forgive my ignorance?
You’re where the poets go.
You’re where words turn into bullets.
Camden, have your way with me.
I don’t know your favourite coffee, but I can learn.
Camden, I promise not to look for him in your scars.
What good would it do to unfasten your buttons?
I know the pages of the books you bury by heart.
Camden, I watch TV, I know about those who came before.
Dickens, Bennett, Plath, Rimbaud, Verlaine.
I don’t know the colour of your sap, but I can learn.
Camden, enrich my northern bones.
Camden, free the raven feathers.
Camden, the tube is my ticket into the shade.
I don’t have a frame of reference, but I can learn.
Camden, are you listening?
Camden, I am numb.
Camden, where did you leave the key?
I don’t know if I am telling the truth, but I can learn.
Camden, they’re all fakes.
I’ll binge on alcopops gifted to me by strange men in pubs.
They will send me away in a basket, with a firework rammed down my throat, yearning to flourish.
Camden, take me to the attic where belt buckles vibrate.
I don’t know your favourite song, but I can learn.
Camden, I am trying, believe me.
When will they realise that I am nothing but myself?
When will they know that my bruises burn?
When will they let me in?
Camden, do you ever watch the news?
Camden, this isn’t about you.
Camden, I’m lost in the valley of fear without a star to follow.
I don’t know how to reach you, but I can learn.
Camden, stop crying, I hear you.
Camden, let me think.
Camden, leave the porch light on.
Why won’t you take off your coat?
I’m scared that you’ll leave.
I don’t know how you take your tea, but I can learn.
Camden, I don’t have a reason to doubt you.
Camden, how can I show you love if you won’t let me sing?
Camden, I can be your oxygen thief.
I don’t know a humbug, but I can learn.
Camden, turn down the lights.
Camden, give me an audience.
Camden, I need to borrow some money.
You’re driving me away with your diplomacy.
When will you go to the papers about me?
When will you tell them I am somebody?
When will you lose yourself in my secrets?
Camden, throw in the towel, it’s over now.
I don’t know if this will work, but I can learn.
Camden, it’s not you, it’s me.
Courtenay Schembri Gray is a writer from the North of England. She is 1/4 Maltese, and happened to find herself hit by a car when she was eleven. You’ll find her work in an array of journals such as A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, Rejection Letters, Hobart, Bath Flash Fiction, and many more. She will often post on her blog: Courtenay's Corner.