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For the longest evening, we have nothing.

The lorry is delayed, and we squat in an

unfurnished box, pine-smelling and so clean

it hurts the eyes to look. We are waiting

to hear the growl of our possessions rolling

into the gravel drive, but it’s silent here

and there’s nothing except us. Us, being

us, we fuck twice on the dusty wooden floor

and afterwards construct an elaborate

fantasy in which the lorry does not arrive,

in which the evidence of our years together

is lost somewhere in a ditch alongside the A43

and we are forced to start again with nothing,

sleeping spooned for warmth and drinking

water, like lapping dogs, straight from the tap.

We would burn scavenged wood in the dusty

fireplace, and tell stories or talk or fuck to

pass the time – at least until new things

arrived: an insurance windfall bringing us a

truck of gleaming furniture, books, blankets,

everything pristine new. And we would peer

into the depths of that lorry, and shake our

heads. This isn’t our history, sorry, you’ve got

the wrong house, and we’d live forever

In this shell, feral and poor, ourselves the

oldest things we own.

Krishan Coupland is a graduate from the University of East Anglia MA Creative Writing programme. His writing has appeared in Ambit, Aesthetica, Litro and Fractured West. He won the Manchester Fiction Prize in 2011, and the Bare Fiction Prize in 2016. In his spare time he runs and edits Neon Literary Magazine. He is unduly preoccupied with theme parks. His website is

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