Still Life with Movement by Preti Taneja

And pass the sign the wardrobe still has not been emptied

The perfume bottle still on the dresser

Between her hairbrush

And her ceramic boat still

there – a plaster cast of paper versions she made and unmade

Her magnetic poetry still on the fridge,

One letter always slips, the not  ing


   she spelled leave to remind me

To go out –

and pass the sign every day, pass

young men with tattoos in the store window, still with old beards

witty as the life they want to be one day

Jump the crack in the pavement which

speaks of her superstition,

Her faith; what about that?

Questioning things – don’t answer – go inside

What we’re browsing for among the florals
and stripes,

The forgotten rings of once hopeful brides

still gold – is the promise of what might be and
the chance to forget what is not


Pass on by the sign, must

Pack up the wardrobe, one day.

Preti Taneja is the co-founder and editor of Visual Verse. Her debut novel, We That Are Young, is out now from Galley Beggar Press. @PretiTaneja

Illustration by Dan Williams

For our Storytelling issue, we conducted something of an experiment. We asked our online readers to suggest potential cover images by choosing from the site of our partner, Stocksy. The brief? Find a picture that could inspire a story. We then asked our Twitter followers and the writers of Visual Verse to respond. Featured above is Preti Taneja’s poem.

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