people like us

                                    one of us is always appearing
                                                to the other

                        in a scribbled haze of cigarette smoke

                                                used pill-packets spread
                                    like sunlight over the sofa

                                    5mg of diazepam drifting
                                                through my body

                                                            like rain

                        in your hand
            a bloody scrap of tissue

                                    like a burst party balloon
                                                as you fall asleep on the toilet

                                    the calendar on my phone empties itself

            & i tell you it’s getting better
                        but maybe that’s just something

                                    people like us say
                                                to stop things falling apart

                                                            how we drag ourselves
                                                                        from week to week

                        & the world carries the beautiful
                                    like the room carries the light

                                                from the window

Daniel Sluman is a 34-year-old poet and disability rights activist. He co-edited the first major UK Disability anthology Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, and his second collection the terrible was published by Nine Arches Press in 2015. He has appeared widely in UK poetry journals and he was named one of The Huffington Post’s Top 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015. He is currently writing his third collection of poetry, about living with disability and chronic pain, to be published by Nine Arches Press in 2021. He tweets @danielsluman.

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