Chasing You, a poem by Olivia Todd at

Chasing You

Chasing You

written by: Olivia Todd



Here we are
in a bell tent on Hill Farm,
Barrow upon Trent.
‘Bumpkinville,’ you jest.
‘Has the same vibes as Chav Island.’
(Your name for the Isle of Wight).
Before my girlfriend had safely
delivered us by their four-wheeler steed,
I knew we were in for a week of
iconic quotes.
From the backseat, you say,
‘It’s just the autism, man.’
The magnitude of your awesomeness is
such that it can’t fit into a single
But I’ll try my best to summarise.
Your beautiful brain is too large
for this constricting universe.
Our beloved dungeon master,
creator of worlds,
weaver of spoken words,
which make my poems blush in comparison.
Master masseur, you knead our knots like dough.
Connoisseur of Bird and Blend teas.
King of mental health memes.
However, you definitely aren’t
the king of insects.
To a mosquito you decreed,
‘You’ve been there for ages,
so now you must die.’
Moths and spiders were granted a free pass.
You’d be the boss of yoga
if not for your hypermobility.
‘Seven out of nine,’ you inform us.
You defy your milk intolerance.
‘I spent five years eating sad foods, no more.’
If possible, you’d live on a strict
diet of ice-cream.
‘We shall cook the pasta in choccy milk!’
Every now and then, you’d sprinkle
world-shifting facts.
‘Calorie intake recommendations
are bullshit. They are based off
the nineteen-seventies.’
With a genuine glow in your eyes,
you hyped up my body.
‘I’m asexual, therefore, my word is God.’
One evening a random question sprouted,
so I queried,
‘What type of punctuation would you
identify as?’
Without hesitation, ‘An ellipsis.’
Then, ‘A comma or semicolon would be
more accurate as I talk endlessly.’
Something in your tone suggested burden.
But I treasure each conversation.
Each chance I get to listen to you speak.
When I received an email from uni,
querying if I was returning for
my PGCE, which I had already
consigned to a coffin.
Your sarcasm singlehandedly
severed my anxiety.
‘Just write back, hello, are you a few
IQ points short? I’ve already sorted
this out.’
Later, I admired your lavender
sprig tattoo on your left thigh.
You told us your plans for your next one.
‘A little creature whose eyes are popping
out of a crescent flower.
It’s everything I want out of life.’
Your beam outshone our lanterns.
‘Originally, I was going to
get the snail.’
Given your adoration of the fey
world, we agreed the creature was best.
You introduced us to Stromae,
a Belgian singer whose songs
illuminate the French working class.
‘“Papaoutai” is about an absent
‘His songs also tackle how men are forced
to behave in certain ways.’
‘He took a six year break, then was like,
HELLO, here’s my album, here you go.’
You revere international artists.
‘Looking up subtitles doesn’t limit
my consumption of music.’
Your phone temporarily blasts “Problematic”
by Bo Burnham, and in a Popeye-esque
bicep curl, you shake your fist and growl,
‘You better not buffer.’
On your bed, you sit in your gremlin pose,
splayed elbows, fingers sprawled on your lap
like spiders hunched down.
You grin at us both,
and I think to myself.
I will forever be seeking your
humour, and your wonderful,
enlightening presence.

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