Two poems by HLR


I wonder if when you refer to the women in your life
you still mention me by name
how do I taste?
rusty candy floss / acid petals / tropicana toothache
I fear that I’m no longer
one that melts in your mouth
that I’m just a part of your etcetera
demoted to “one of the others”
renamed as “and the rest of them”
that I’m languishing in a mass grave
amongst your flings and forgettables
your mistakes and unmentionables
my name erased
my significance cancelled
yes, I fear that nowadays you spit me out
rather than swallow me whole
like you used to
with pleasure
not so long ago


The View From The Smoking Room

I can see through
windows once obscured
by the lime tree that now stands
smaller, nude
and the skeleton
of the silver birch
its limbs that jerk
rattled by cold bursts
of clouds’ breath
and beyond the gardens
and the trembling sheds
the gas works’ silhouette
dark against a darker sky
lines erased by winter night
and houses that I
didn’t know were there
have suddenly appeared
so the terraces seem higher
roofs dripping with yellow lights
families at dining tables
clothes twisting in a tumble dryer
knives scraping on plates
a man chopping wood for the fire
the people laugh and fight
tell stories and share a joke
and are completely unaware
that I am here
indoors but looking out
into their homes
into their lives
having a smoke
deciding what to write
sipping tea
hiding in the December night
safe in anonymity
extinguishing the light
and closing the window
quietly behind me.


HLR is a twenty-something writer of CNF, short prose and poetry. Her work focuses on challenging subjects such as grief and addiction, and her own personal experiences living with mental illness. Perpetually on the verge of either a breakdown or a breakthrough (sometimes both), HLR was born and raised in north London and is yet to escape. Read more at and @treacleheartx.

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