Sat in the café curled into the armchair – white cotton shirt pressed into geometry that boxes her shoulders. She hides behind tight hair, teeth pressed together in anticipation of freedom. Pushing her glasses up her nose she emerges to give her partner a kiss – she doesn’t let go of her bag. Her face is ironed in place. She needs to escape. Without even noticing she slips under and breathes in the intoxication of remembered words. She needs the words. She sees the café as the language it contains – starchy – not the words she needs. The words she hasn’t yet read call out to the words within. She sees her body swollen from the pressure of not reading. She has become words – words she must release from the book in her bag. Her partner smiles again.
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