2 min read

it's quarter past ten 

i stand up to leave 

it's too late for coffee 

or to be heard 

someday my name 

will be on a polished plaque 

the proud face of a bad example 

the reward for being a good employee 

but for now 

i've missed the last bus home 

and bubble bath play time with my son 

i wrap my guilt away 

it doesn't pay the bills 

my body says it's hungry 

i walk to the diner around the corner 

with a blinking signboard and a missing letter

the waitress yawns 

tells me in a flat voice 

it's too late to order 

there are three missed calls 

and an unread message on my phone 

i think it's my husband 

or maybe my lover 

it's too late for reading 

or talking 

for blanket excuses and knitted lies 

it's too late to fight 

i see a couple approaching 

their arms tightly linked, eyes firmly locked

it's too late to exchange advice 

they pass me by 

my vacant hands occupy 

the deep pockets of my coat 

the click-clack of my shoes 

echo the emptiness of the streets 

pretty houses sit amidst blooms 

more wondrous than the next 

all deserving praise for effortless detail 

i notice deadpan faces inside 

isolated in different rooms 

bowing to an artificial ray of light 

the volume of silence increases 

in the dark 

at the door 

i take off my dirty shoes 

out of habit 

i turn the lock to the right with my key 

out of memory 

it's too late to turn on the lights 

my house is blissfully dead 

it's too late for a hug or a kiss or i missed you too 

i fall into bed 

the only thing waiting for me 

i don't undress 

it's too late for comfort

the sheet creases taking my shape 

the ceiling fan oscillates 

my head spins 

with tumbling thoughts 

it's too late for a dream 

so i write

Petula D’Souza was born in a desert country and has been speeding her way through life since. She is a workaholic by day and a tired poet by night, and an overthinker at all hours. You can find snippets of her interests and musings floating around Instagram @pd.loves.words and short stories on Terribly Tiny Tales. She likes to keep her nose inside a book on most days, and drowns out discord with Spotify. Currently, she is learning how to speak in emojis to keep up with Gen Z.

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