by Kathryn Cussons

You were up before
the sun rose
and busy swallowing
dry cereal
like you hadn’t eaten in days.

I found you
circuiting the table like a race dog
and offered tea
rather than a
good morning kiss.

I left you
to out-hiss the kettle
as I thumbed in my contact lenses
praying that they could push
the morning into focus.

By the time I’d poured the tea
(an olive branch admitting it was partly my fault)
and burnt the toast and my fingers,
you had slipped away
without a key.

I sat with two cups for company
staring into them
like a pair of doleful eyes
and listened while they did their best
to apologise
for your absence.