I loved you once in silence
Dressed in charity shop velvet,
the girl steadies her hands,
places her right palm beneath
her ribs to guide the notes
up the escape hatch of her throat.
The sounds are her confession –
her teacher says that art
is the control of raw expression.
She stands in this grey church,
and releases the song. Six months ago
she was seventeen; how could she know
about lies and love? You’re gifted, they say,
deaf to her double bluff. Her smile
distracts them, while she remembers
last month, and a door slammed
in the face of the boy who sent her clichés,
by the man who said he loved her,
but she should never tell.
*‘I Loved You Once in Silence’ refers to a song from the musical Camelot, concerning the love affair between Guinevere and Lancelot. It was also first published in Kate's pamphlet "The names of things unseen", as part of the six-poets-in-one collection Caboodle from Prolebooks (2015).
Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction, and edits other people's - she is a senior editor for the independent writers collective Pankhearst, and the founding editor of Three Drops Press / Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her latest pamphlet, The Density of Salt, is forthcoming in 2016 from Indigo Dreams Publishing. She lives in Sheffield with her husband, a cat, and three clever trolls who call her "mum".