pale on my lungs, every time I breathe
in, every time you leave, it’s musty
floral curtains hanging from rusty
rungs - Nowhere near so riveting as the way
your rivets slotted into place
from your chalk-dust skin to
my cheap asbestos face -
Here our haunts dissolve and
reappear, I know we never
candled here but see, the
wick’s the same and all our faces
lined up on the walls in wire frames -
They catch the light and let it go
(we bottled ours,
thought we’d lose the glow) and
superfluous tang of coffee fills the hall
in our carrion display rooms
we carry on
we spill it all -
See mottled floral patterns on the walls,
see my breath hit the air and fail to fall.
before, blood doesn’t boil like
it used to and I don’t hear or see a thing
in me I used to be
in neon droves, but blood cell heresy,
singing the body betraying, can’t
break these windows; There may be
mutiny in raising this maturity, and I’m not
used to mellowing - don’t know how not
to scream anymore because Mum It’s Still
Not Fair, but I’m growing
out my hair and down my well-worn spine
a column builds higher; I reached
my full height at sixteen
but of all the people I have been,
it’s this space I am most unsure of
how to occupy…
not to think about you at all today (except
just then) - instead I’m going
to pretend you don’t exist (and then
push your non-existence to the
back of my mind, where
I usually find things like that song
we danced to that one time, not that I ever
go looking) - I’ll
go about my day
drastically changed and settle
down again to say (and not in any way
recognising that you exist, don’t try to
twist my words)
“Good night, I’ve decided
not to dream about you at all tonight.”
First, know this, I have not died.
When I disappear do not wander streets
with metal detectors hoping for
the sing of iron in my blood.
Don’t magnify me
I am as small as I ever was,
memory and myth are easily confused
(I too have thought myself Persephone
confused the fruits of lust and salt).
Do not set sail for me,
I know you’ll try turning troubadour.
Sleeping’s a waste of sunset
when you can become acquainted with
the living dark behind your eyes in swallowing another’s sighs
wishing that your mouth was dry.
Spacing my speech and knowing you
would think it art and make me gridlock out of
slowness in my thinking, queueing words until they
choke across the street packeted in exhaust fumes.
You flagged me down once but I’ve started
to tint the blinking windows
(what did you think all this was for?)
In the reconstruction
did you find a handy epitaph?
Surely I’ve said things worth a grave.
Surely I’ve said things you should save.
When you stop making me about you will you mourn yourself too?
So I’ve heard that
if you hold your ear to a shell the
tides rush in, the world fades out -
But I’ve been feeling pretty
hollow myself, and only silence sounds
where my voice should shout
they’re all that’s yours to keep -
for suns will set, and truths grow stale,
but rivers run forgetful,
putting disappointments down to sleep.
sing it only
in the linking of our
hands can’t compose a
chord which echoes, grandiose and
hushed ears can’t - hear me out -
take it in, the biscuit crumbs
no key for unlocking the
cadence of a wiped bottom lip,
an accidental kick, deliberate
mouths can’t make song of
majorminor mornings -
but needles lift and slide so
sure, turn over,
play it again.