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You Never Said

Poet: Kate Maxwell

Around the negative spaces

of your nose, ridge

             of your lips

I’ve marked regret.


Grain of your skin is coarse

with dour dismissal

of long, indentured days

              spent laying bricks


of someone else’s agenda

            and tabulating

            the tedium

of others’ commands.


Strange, the way your irises

deflect that everyday


crinkled into grey green


smiles and stoic sighs

             of day to day

but now, eyes wide shut

flickering conceded dreams.


Sealed in by my own

heavy curtains of grief

            back dated, grim

            blocking out the light


I’m shamed by stale expulsion

of such secret despair

              and roll away

from your sleeping lament.

Kate Maxwell is a teacher and writer from Sydney. She’s been published and awarded in Australian and International literary magazines. Her first poetry anthology, Never Good at Maths was published in 2021, and her second anthology will be forthcoming in 2023. Kate’s interests include film, wine, and sleeping. She can be found at

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