gasping for air in my bell jar,

i long for closure and i crave familiarity,

melded thoughts and warm hands.

i am desperate to connect.

i want to feel someone’s soul

glued to mine.

i dream of intimacy,

but i’m clumsy:

when people embrace me too tightly,

i hiss like a cornered snake.

i’m wary of being alone, but

i drift away during conversations,

i ignore messages,

i break friendships,

i feign smiles.

i find refuge

in my bell jar.

every night

i close the jar’s lid with shaky hands,

hug my knees

and blow air on the glass.

*poem published in scan lancaster, february 2020, in the column ‘four incantations for loss, joy and love’. i wrote it two years ago, as part of my second-year poetry collection ‘teenage angst’. i aimed to emulate the restlessness i felt as a young, teenage girl. i feel so touched reading it! wish i could hug that olden version of myself.

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