i start the day with desire by Memoona Z

in a room with one lit candle, the smell of burning.

walls with flecks of orange light, hole punched

and shaped like small suns. there is only quietness to stay

with me. when i was thirteen i learnt i could be held

mostly when i was alone. water

falling off my skin my favourite past time. each

hidden afternoon where the cells inside me torched

and tucked away beneath covers, my wet fingers singing –

when at last i learned to share the feeling

which until now i safeguarded –

the softness of an empty hallway disappearing

without begging, like fig and the touch

of two shadows angled perpendicular,

i learn desire, take it

from between my two front teeth, slip it in

the space between us, it thrums – the wait is too hot,

and my knees curve

into your collarbone

i could mouth your name on sidewalks forever.


Memoona Z is a poet living in London. After graduating from Goldsmiths, she recently completed her MA in Poetry at the University of East Anglia. Her poems have appeared in PAIN, bath magg, Ink, Sweat and Tears and elsewhere.