Eternity Jennifer Juan

Cocktails In Carnaby Street

The inescapable innocence,
uncharacteristic for a man,
with experience etched on his face.

The lines you had learned,
mapped across your palm,
hopeful for your future,
but as neurotic as the rest of you.

The sways and stumbles
of the first time in years,
your flirting with flirting,
your promise in your pocket,
and the telling tan line trying its best to hide.

Circled With Red Pen

You were first on his shelf.
The first I knew.
I looked up,
most days,
fixated and furious,
perhaps that’s why my neck was always stiff.

I don’t think you knew of your position,
until he wrote you into the position,
which is quite the proposition,
but the boy never learned manners.
More on that later.

I could tell you that,
but the disgust I imagined
on your face as he read the red romance
he wished for you,
informs me that you are informed.

I hate that he made me hate you.
Even if it wasn’t directly him,
it was directly dim, but luckily for me,
I’ve moved on, and my neck is back to normal
(that’s a lie),
but I’m looking up less and less,
because he’s chucked
another pretty brunette
where you,
and I,
and half the campus
used to rest.

Boys And Their Toys

He claims he was young once,
but I don’t believe him,
he walked out of his mother
in a suited bid for freedom.
Umbilical tie,
in a perfect Windsor knot,
he messed up the schedule,
mother nature was distraught.
We walk palm to palm,
fingers locked with bad intentions,
our war is waged with passive,
perverse presentations.
His pocket watch was broken,
and I felt like time was dying,
he told me that he loved me,
and I swear that he was lying.
He asked me
“Little girl, would you like to be a dancer?”
I put a pastel pistol to his face,
and told him I was gangster.
I don’t even mind,
I’ll sell our romance to heart tourists,
it isn’t aged or real enough
to give it to the purists.

The Growth (Or The Lack Of)

I was surviving,
levelled up to passing adult,
unlocked the job, the friends, the plan.
Game over,
when I saw death dancing on my chest.
Ill informed self diagnosis,
on a Saturday,
when all the actual adults,
are away from their desks,
and I can’t find another coin,
to get another life.
I keep looking,
both in person, and online,
trying to understand,
wishing it away.
This could be drama,
this could be death,
I don’t even know enough about it,
to know those are the only two options.
I want to know,
but I’d honestly rather die,
and I might do, come to think of it.
Maybe if I never think of it,
it will vanish.
I’ve made a list,
of things I didn’t care to do,
before I thought all this was going on.
I don’t think I’d want to do them,
even if I was in the departure lounge,
but it’s just what you do. Isn’t it?
Where’s the cheat codes?
This wasn’t in the game guide,
and the algebra and baroque music,
funnelled in by school has nothing of use.
I’m taking little breaks,
to hate myself a little more,
for never reading THAT leaflet,
when I thought I could do without it.
I’ve got so much left that I need to do,
haven’t I?

Same Polo Shirt

For a long time, I thought you might be me from the future.
The future is fluid, after all,
and there is no reason why I couldn’t be a man in the future.
We have the same polo shirt,
so in my head, it made sense.
What didn’t make sense was how quickly,
and comfortably you spoke
once you had crossed that line.
I couldn’t comprehend why
you hadn’t bothered to do so before,
instead of popping up
like a voiceless NPC in the RPG that was my life
(insert dragon/lecturer joke here).
If you could talk, why didn’t you?
I could have asked you
if you were future me,
if you were my time travelling husband,
like that book I won’t mention
for legal reasons,
and for pure resentment at having to read it to get an A Level.

The Bedtime Therapist

This morning,
when the sun was already awake,
and jumping on our bed,
he asked me if I ever tired of him.
I ignored him,
as I did the sun,
and burrowed under blankets,
determined to get back the time we had lost the night before,
due to our correlative craving for each other,
that simply couldn’t wait until morning.
I was tired,
in my head,
and in my heart,
and in my whole body.
Four Hours wasn’t enough to recover
from the teenaged fun we had,
or from the very adult lack of fun that followed.
Emotions strewn across the bed,
from ecstasy to melancholy,
the memory of his first undressing of me,
and the memory of her last dressing down of him.
I rose anyway,
as tired as I was,
to sip some coffee from his lips,
to ward off tiredness.

Aspects Of The Dreamy

You looked like Tobey Maguire,
you talked like James McAvoy,
you knew who Deadpool was,
so in my head, I called you marvel.
To my friends, I called you lovely,
and to you, I called you nothing,
because the very thought of speaking with you
gave me a rash on my vocal chords.
It’s a preventative measure.
I won’t tell you how I loved you,
deep down, we both know I didn’t.
I liked your face, though.
I liked your voice, though.
And I liked that you made me feel,
like my comic books had a place,
among your classics.

The Day I Met His Wife

She looked at me like I was dressed in rags,
despite her country club money curating my Chanel.
She knew my name,
from his secret sighs,
and she knew my breasts,
from the photos she had pretended not to find.
I thought I should pity her,
with my Sunday school values,
but still,
I smirked at the softened scorn in her sallow cheeks,
that I knew I had a stake in.
I made a show of all the things he wouldn’t give her,
and the things she used to give to him,
and the things that I had shown him.
Tough crowd.
She wouldn’t speak,
she only stared,
and as I stared back,
through the expensive shades her pain had purchased,
I couldn’t see the callous claws he’d described,
and pity strode towards us,
with his mistress, regret.


Sleep won’t cross the room to join me.
It’s slowly spinning,
along with tonight’s record,
and neither want the party to end.
I stay up,
half a box of Sterling down,
the ocean is jumping from the sky,
and I’m all out of cider.
Nothing to do,
but wait,
one day,
the sun will decide to join us,
or so I’m told,
but it’s hard to be an optimist when everything goes to shit.
These days are the longest,
leisurely stretching,
purring as they dig their claws
into my sobbing soul.
It used to feel fancy,
like a Broadway ballad.
It used to feel freeing,
like the first swim of summer.
To stay up all night,
your smile in my veins,
keeping the eyes you adored open…
Oh boy.
It’s all fun and games,
my darling,
until one of us stops playing.


I burned,
like the exhausted cigarette
he tucked into the ashy resting room.
Ella in my ears,
envy in my mind,
as I longed for him
to inhale all I was,
discard the doubtful voice in my head,
and really shake it down.
I crawl to consciousness,
though not a fan,
because of her promise of more of my man,
if my lungs stay in the game.
Non disclosure agreement,
faxed at midnight,
no more rumours from the room,
of where his fancy freckles sit,
and how much he likes to [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED].
He promises forever,
each and every Sunday,
before we slip into church,
and pretend to understand.
Eternity with him feels pointless,
although I’ll take what I can get.
An hour with him,
goes faster than a second without.

© Jennifer Juan 2016