Ollie O’Neill

Ollie O’Neill

I’m Pretty Busy

looking up my dead friend on facebook.
my ex-girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend’s new girlfriend
looks beautifully familiar.

going to the same bar as when i was seventeen
and promising i never would again.
dancing to new songs.
folding origami swans
across the room with someone
who could be lovable if i let them.
getting vex. letting my face set
like this so no one moves to me.
not believing my mum when she says
she’s sober. giving up smoking.
getting neurotic about wrinkles.
eating salads. getting neurotic
about skin collagen & weight loss &
also weight gain. washing my hair
every other day. convincing myself
i can stop anytime i want to.
buying new toothbrushes. arriving
at my appointments fifteen minutes early.

the last time i saw my dead friend, men smashed
the stained glass above her front door until each shard
was cellulite in the thigh of movement,
the moment becoming a rabbit’s snapped neck.

when impulse slips its tongue in?
not biting. getting out of the car
when i hit the deer, when the sky
is baby pink & making a nursery
of the scene below it. taking the bait
when it’s best to.

looking up my ex-girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend’s
new girlfriend on facebook.
my dead friend looks beautifully familiar.

From What We Are Given (Write Bloody UK, September 2020)

OLLIE O’NEILL is a writer based in London. Her debut collection What We Are Given will be published in September with Write Bloody UK. Her Pamphlet Ways of Coping was published in 2019 with Out-Spoken Press. Twitter: @olliecmoneill.