Alice Florence Orr
Alice is a writer from Edinburgh. She is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a MA and MSc in English Literature. She is a DPhil candidate in English at the University of Oxford, starting in October. She is also a Staff Writer and Lists Editor for Podcast Review, a branch of the LA Review of Books, and has been published in Extra Teeth, Forum, Like the Wind, and Scottish Review, etc. She won the Sloan Prize for work written in Lowland Scots dialect in 2020. She currently lives in Glasgow.
Irigaray wrote that when
I place my lips to your lips we are
speaking from everywhere at once.
Could this be new language, delivered to us by way of
a multiplicity; conversation evoked
through silence or the
absent expectation of speech.
(The only part of him I have touched is
his elbow. Do not ask me if I thought it nice; pleasantly hard. I was not thinking of his elbow.)
If I press my lips to yours I am committing
a criminal act; wordlessly I watch
our language fragment across an expanse
I have never perceived as real.
The good citizen maintains
her distance, and I have
always been good.
I must confess my reticence
to fully disseminate the boundary between my edge
and yours to be known, to hope
words are enough when we part
lips conveying across a page what I will always
prefer to say
Embrace me (across a threshold, perhaps), wary
of the consequences of my request,
wary of our small death,
an end given new meaning. Irigaray wrote
that between us, the house has no walls
but know: I have never felt further from
a future in which we might find
a home within each other.
Photograph by Naihan Nath.