Old Milk by Courtenay S. Gray

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

It’s 10 am by the time I rise from my slumber. I take out my scrunchie with the velvet fabric and crescent moon charm, and I walk downstairs to make myself a coffee. The teaspoons are dirty, covered in grease and old milk. Mum and dad pass me in a lost haze, their faces fuzzy. Their mouths rotate in circular motions, but all I hear is an archaic hum — like an old gramophone.

I’ve worn the same clothes for three days; a bouquet of perspiring decay seeps into the wallpaper. As the sun sets and the sky begins to fade, I retreat to my room, where I can be comfortable in my defeat. Vodka and tequila line the desk behind my computer; their tops are sticky and used. I spray Chanel No.5, put on some rouge and head to the supermarket. Someone will notice. They will.

The handsome man outside looks into my eyes, with his 5 o’clock shadow, tempest blue. Chin up, sweetheart, he says with an almost southern drawl. Life ain’t so bad when you give up trying. It only hurts more when you keep on fighting.

Courtenay S. Gray is a writer from the North of England. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2020), and she has been shortlisted for the Literary Lancashire Award (2021). Courtenay was previously the Associate Editor for Thorn Literary Magazine