Charlotte Chadwick

Teaching English in Korea 


Intimacy. Or the idea at least; solace for the solitary

I’m used to glimpsing the edge of promise. Hoping if I appear not to notice, a bit will
come and settle in my hair. You clutch at the glittering air.

I pretend to sleep, watching your restless half-lit stranger’s shape.
Blinking tears into the pillow while you’re in the bathroom.

You call promise by its name.
You call me by my name and I’m too ashamed
to answer, too scared to disturb the tightly wrapped silence.

Look, I appreciate the romance
of all this,
acknowledge the brevity and have come to expect the rest.

Insecurity, insincerity.
We’re two different people. We’re too different.

But you come to me, naked, and stretch your body long,
to wake me, to press against me, to make me aware of you and we bite and scratch
as we press our foreheads together and taste tongues.

Sweat spit tears. Blood. Salt salt salt. 


Sydney is rolled out beneath me. Miniaturised and vacuum-packed under aeroplane glass.

We didn’t kiss goodbye.

She had tears in her eyes, a small sea.

I bit my mouth closed against the hook tugging in my gut.

I’ve missed here. The ocean smell. The brisk bleached air.

The feeling, like bones just plucked.

We clashed and squabbled, trying to avoid the inevitable farewell.

I scratch the sand with my feet, and stockpile broken bits of shell.

Charlotte Marie Chadwick is a writer and performer from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Her theater pieces have been performed by The Luvvies (Scotland), Citadel Art Group (Scotland) and at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sinister Wisdom, The Disappearing, Open Thought Vortex, Cordite Poetry Review, and other places.