When You Were New to Me

Nicole Jacobsen


My hummingbird heart. I hear the beats, footfalls ascending a staircase. I float in unfamiliar blackness, the sheets soft and warm, foreign and intimate with bare flesh. In the darkness his face changes. Shadows gather and warp. He looks like and unlike himself. The comfort of his hand on my hip. Strangeness in scents, my drowsy denouement. I’m drowning in shapeshifting, his features losing meaning like a word you repeat until it’s not that word anymore. Slowly my confusion eases. His breath pulls at me, like before we fell asleep, when he moaned into my neck as if telling me a secret. His eyes dancing behind his eyelids.  His lashes dark crescents  on a pale face. Shadows crosshatch his upper lip and chin and cheeks. A curl descends upon his forehead. I ease my arm from the warmth of us, manoeuvre my hand to return the curl. It coils with surprising hold, a baby’s grip around my finger. He feels it. He sees me, stares a moment. A moment more. Then smiles.

Author: Nicole Jacobsen is a Brisbane artist, writer, poet, and aspiring editor who regularly finds herself re-befuddled by the difference between who and whom. Her background in Psychology emerges through character studies, obsessive bouts of self-reflection, and recurrent themes of mental health in her work.

Artist: SaBelle Pobjoy-Sherriff is a third year visual arts student minoring in film. Her art practice has an in depth focus on ideas of narrative and mythology, and tends to border on the obscure. She utilises illustration and sculpture to create vibrant worlds and creatures. You can find more on her Instagram @SaBelleeee.