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All was perfect

But I didn’t quite realise

The bounds of perfection

And how quickly they can

Tilt to maximum capacity.

As they tilted, I tilted too.

I tumbled into my tumbler

Of hot coffee

Once sitting beside me

In the library.

Now I tread the murky,

Brown caffeinated water

With a splash of cold milk

So I don’t quite burn

But I’m just a bit too hot.

I am tilting my head upwards,

Watching the other studious

Faces twitch as they tip and tap

Away, elongating their word count

To fit the 5,000-word capacity

Whilst my mind is filled to the


Their smiles are brimming too,

A faint touch of the hand,

A reassurance,

A nod to know that

‘We can do this’

The night before

Deadline day.

I forgot it was deadline day


Today is a deadening day

And I can’t quite work

Out why I am still treading this

Tepid coffee and not calling

For help.

No one knows I’m in here

I still don’t speak out,

I just keep treading

Like the legs of little cousin Noah

As they are pulled high by

Their wrists and swung about

By Uncle Nick,

Their legs squirming

In search for a platform

Or stability, or grounding.

My clothes are now drenched

In the quickly cooling coffee.

No one checks to see

Whose cup of cold coffee

Has been left unattended

At this library desk

So, of course, no one knows

I am in the coffee either.

I am in the coffee.



A girl with soft, pink skin

And yellowing under-eye concealer

And bright blue eyes

Covered with feathery auburn hair

Glances over.

She knows I am here.

She has always known.

But now I am making a scene.

She scowls.

Her top lip rises a little

Her eyes tighten

The blue fades to black.

I dip my head

Imaginary tail between

Imaginary legs.

We both know.

It was my fault.

And this cup is a keep cup

That the university advised

To get a cheeky 20p off your

Overpriced Americano

But I didn’t know I would fall

Inside the coffee

And the sides are more slippery

Than the paper ones with ridges.

So, I am stuck in my sustainable

Stainless steel keep cup

And I will tread cold coffee

Until I get a little sleepy

And the caffeine wears off

And I sink to the bottom

Of my stainless steel keep cup

And my weightless, greying body

Lies unevenly against

The coffee granules

Left undissolved. 

Tilted: Work
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