Saturday, 5 November 2011

Morning Coffee

Reflected upon it, our story plays out
like a tale thrown across a curled page.
Its smooth curves of china transform our shapes
into wild-armed ravings of ghosts;
me, slippered and absurd with my hair left loose
and bright as a bowl of lemons,
and you, neck grizzled and eyes flat moons,
clamping your palms to your ears.
The caffeine fumes rise from our heads.

It sits there each morning, your white china cup,
as you throw back my words through curling smoke,
your pink thumbs tense little prawns.
Your cigarette glows in its saucer.
Another coffee if you would please,
You leave before taking a sip.

I watch after the swinging back door,
blood turning cold as your coffee.
I have taken your cup to the sink
where I wash its old throat like religion,
hook my finger through handled bone;
clean bubbles erupting like pearls.
Your fingerprints smear to nothing.

Gleaming and tiny, placed back on the wood,
I carry it close--
my polished whole heart on a saucer.
Twice now you have squeezed it tight
and thumped it down hard on the wood,
yet no chips cut through its bone-skin,
more stubborn, more real than a tooth.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I carry it like a fat child in my arms:
my bright pumpkin. The stars swing
their strange eyes upon us,
my own turned against grey rain.
Under the knotted light of streetlamps,
I feel I have stolen
somebody’s head.

A great bright moon upon the table,
I lift my knife with marvellous calm
and carve, steady-handed, the damp hiss
of letters all slid out like mud, the one
rude syllable of your name. I have no time
for cartoon faces, my smooth blade sucking
clean letters. Fiction.
No lunatic smile, no soft teeth, only one
webbed line of alphabet ghosts.
Sweet earthy breath. Deadly orange.
Seeds on my hands like follicles.
Here is the skull of a make-believe man;
head tumbled clean from his shoulders.

This is the part where my tiny flame
sweats hollowed flesh, this huge
warm crown my trophy.
I set it at the window:
a bloodless heart, faceless name.
I am the lipsticked Dorothy,
cheek white-flattened on glass,
my hand on a good friend’s skull.

In the mizzling streets, bag-swinging
children craft brick roads
between mouthfuls of toffee.
They do not notice my flowering shadow,
this pumpkin-moon blooming on walls.
Not one of them shocked by the devilish light
of your name burning white in the mirror.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

En Suite

You have taken to bathing at odd times of the night.
Pearls floating on your collarbones,
salmon-coloured stars,
you call this your Sunday best,
white moths spinning at the windows.
Dripping before the mirror,
becoming art.

Every night you become the slim nude
unstitching herself of the bathwater
on two glossed legs.
Each candle light blooming gold
along your wingless spine.

Tonight, the bathroom unoccupied,
the moon’s soapy eye at my window.
Like habit, you haunt me,
bath-wrinkled and serious,
shuddering in a damp towel.
Your talcum imprint snowed onto my skin.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


This year,
I sit on your side of the bed,
not having the heart to remove your pillow
stuffed with your talk.
Champagne bottle gagged with a cork.
July hurls light at the window,
shadows dropping like silks to the floor
and the bedroom door
where months have pooled.
A year where they chained up the sun.
Slim figure of one.

This year,
I will not send clowns to your doorstep.
I will not be at the table
flapping your card like a wing,
trying to sing,
taking champagne to the garden, watching stars
unstitch like a waterfall,
kissing you full on the lips.
Your hands on my hips.

This year, I shall pour myself a drink at midnight
and drink to you all the same.
You’ve forgotten my name.

This year,
I abandon my phone at midnight,
fling your pillow to the floor.
Scratch your name off the door.
I am not the name rising in candle-smoke,
the balloon rising up from your hand.
I understand.
This year, I will drink to you until
the champagne and cider renders me ill.
And maybe next year,
I will drink to you still.