To think of hugs

is to fall
into a dinner lady
with a grazed knee
and a battered sausage.
It is drowning in aftershave
and garlic in molars.
To think of hugs
is to stick to the stomach of a man
who enjoyed your attempted volley,
to say How are you?
to say Thanks for asking,
to feel fingertips on ribs
unsure if they’re going to break.
To think of hugs
is to remember and restart.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

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