Special mention of The Six Feet Writing Competition

by Marina Giacosa

“In-ti-ma-cy: the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar”

The sound of the podcast the sound of that new movie the sound of last episodes the sound of the first episodes of that series long-ago finished yet fondly remembered the zoom meetings nobody seems to want to have every day at lunch for a break they all fail to fill the void and let in all those ruthless unwanted thoughts that create an internal monologue that seems to lack punctuation not a comma not a stop they go on uninterrupted by all the conversations that were possible to have before over lunch over a coffee at the station conversations with others that have different lives that smile unlike the image on the mirror that image never smiles it is distant like everyone at the supermarket which would be nice if it were because of respect for the personal bubble and not because fear of death the image leaves the mirror it just goes away like everyone did they fled back to their homes but the small apartment is better than that other house that is not a home but neither is the apartment and neither is the mind there is no home because in a home there are things familiar and in this mind nothing is familiar none of the thoughts are they just go on they are like noise because in music class they teach you that a melody is formed by silences and sounds and there is only sound not of the podcast or the movie but of the thoughts that are so strange so weird so foreign

so foreign

they shouldn’t be so foreign they are in the head and the head is very close to the rest of the body but they go so fast the thoughts they are barely the same language they are independent and strange and icky and but they can’t be foreign not only because they are in the head because they could be foreign in the head maybe depending on how the neck is thought of but they are doing stuff to the stomach the stomach feels weird and the stomach is definitely not foreign or is this like those interstate conflicts that the newscaster doesn’t talk about anymore because there is that virus thing and every country is doing its own thing but the thoughts don’t go through all those countries they stay mostly in the one with the house and the school with all the kids outside and the streets lined with trees and that park and that other house the one that always smelled like spices or banana bread and there was always tea that boiled in the pot with all those leaves swirling around that were hypnotic and the thoughts could stay still watching those leaves swirl in the water but they can’t stay in that house for too long because leaves swirling were not the only thing there are also coughs that were bad before coughs were bad now but the thoughts they don’t rush as much when they go in that house that felt like a home they do rush when they get close to the other one because there are always screams coming out and no nice smells but with the nice smells the thoughts slow down a bit because that banana bread also had good taste no banana bread has ever tasted that well but eh thoughts should anyway stop but how if there are no stops they go on and they speed up or do they skip maybe they skip from some place to the next instead of running around but they always take longer to skip when they go inside that house that home

they do slow down if you look at the swirling leaves they go faster with the coughs because the coughs were bad they have always been and thank God people don’t dare do that now not even a meter and a half away because they are still loud you can hear them from another bedroom even when at the kitchen making sure the banana bread doesn’t go all burned because it isn’t as tasty

but otherwise it is very much so and it makes all mouths water and nobody eats that banana bread fast because otherwise the taste doesn’t stay as long and maybe the thoughts are like that in that house because it is better to be slow so maybe the thoughts don’t have to be all in one go

they could calm down and walk in slowly

feel the smells from within grow intense


appreciate the creaking wood of the door that opens

walk in slowly through the small sitting room

into the kitchen


the hands mix the ingredients

think that thoughts are much nicer like this

as nice as the tastes and smells coming from that kitchen that is by far better than the one in the small apartment that is perhaps just as small but looks barren there are no nice cups, like in the kitchen of the home, and there are no jars full of spices and tea and ingredients there are no jars at all in the kitchen of the apartment and maybe that’s why the thoughts don’t stay nobody stays in that kitchen but in the kitchen of the house that is a home, it is nice to stay

it is nice to think slowly of that kitchen

as if it were


that kitchen was like prose

because poems could be


about how lovely

it felt to be


and maybe,

if there were such things in the kitchen of the small apartment that is empty because no one comes in and no one goes out because no one does that anymore everyone stays put, it would be easier to stay

to stay longer in the kitchen

to stay longer in the thoughts

to stay longer inside

to bring the thoughts closer

against the current of everyone walking away

to take the thoughts of that kitchen

for them to no longer be


but home.

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