I took his hairbands. Rigid, they dented flesh around my wrist. Discarded to side-tables, caught between cushions. Products spread the shower. Shoulder-length white hair pulled back.
She said: “It was meant to be me.” A phone-call between, she said, “it was always meant to be me. You thought this, didn’t you? The lumps, bumps. We always thought it would be me.”
His hair fell. Scalp brutal, cancer did not care for sights we knew.
“We always thought it would be me,” she said: “Never your father,” she said. “Never your father,” she said.
Where it had once swayed bathroom politics, combs moved from their place.
She rubbed stubble on his head: “Never your father,” she said. “Never your father.”
About the Contributor
Chimene Suleyman is a writer from London.
She writes on race and gender for publications including The Indepedent, Media Diversified, and The Quietus. Her poetry collection Outside Looking On was published September 2014 by Influx Press and listed by writer Laura Bates as one of her books in a Guardian Best Books list.
Mrs Hemmingway - Naomi Wood
"It's not often you recognise what is missing in yourself in every character of a novel. Mrs Hemmingway does just that. The four women each deal with the end of a relationship in a manner relatable. The man himself could never find what felt gone.
More from Issue Ten:
- Tracks of Life and Death by Liz Kohn
- A short course of treatment by Tim Love
- Heating disorder by Myriam Frey
- Heirlooms by Rosie Garland
- Mourning by Katherine McMahon
- The Ghost of my Mother is waiting for me in Arrivals by Claire Collison
- Pakistan Zindabad, from Abroad by Hana Riaz
- Adopt a vortex by Han Smith
- Sea Sickness by Eloise Unerman
- British Street Music by Tamim Sadikali
- Pomegranate by Caroline Gonda