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Together, Alone
by Aimee Green

Deep in their own worlds, yet

sitting side-by-side.

Paperbacks, immaculate, grasped

between thumb and fingers, propped

like masquerade masks

in front of their faces. Their gazes fixed,

attention unwaning. Coffees going cold.


In good company, they read.

When I notice them I wonder how often

they spend their days like this:

in each other’s company... yet.

Yet totally alone, treasuring words,

worlds, characters, stories

more than their companion.

Sitting by myself, I can’t help but judge.

I long for the conversation, the warmth,

the comfort of my one other:

the physical presence of someone else –

someone else in particular –

giving me their undivided attention.

Why would they waste this moment?


Every so often they break away,

discuss something just read.

An excitable summary

of the past twelve pages;

deep discussions

of character motivation.

Take sips of their drinks,

exchange friendliness,

reposition their paper masks.


I turn to my sketchbook,

adding lines and colour to pages

that only I will see.

My companion.

I bury myself within a blank page,

wondering: would they judge me for being alone

if their gaze happened to stray my way?

Or would they long for my lonely solitude

as much as I long for theirs?

Aimee Green is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, UK, with an MA in Creative Writing. Initially a prose writer, she rediscovered her poetic voice shortly after the birth of her young daughter. Her poetry has been published by Porridge Magazine, Aloka Magazine, and more recently as a daily offering on Poetry Breakfast. She writes confessional poetry inspired by her own experiences and shares some of her work on her website:

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