A circle of salt
With me sitting cross legged at its centre,
Crosses scored into the backs of my hands.
Eyes burn red
from salty sleepless nights.
I see the blood chug
Thick through the capillaries.
Outside the circle the night
Like a wall of static sound
Dark and blatant
Some days the world heaps itself on top of you.
It pulls at the strands of your hair and rasps
its uncut nails over your semi-healed wounds
Snagging at the scabs and leaving little
Snail trails of your own half dried blood.
Some nights the world leaches into your life
Like an ocean of sand
Grain by blistering grain
Hot and slow
Until you are completely dry
And devoid of hope.
At those times I close my eyes,
Hum quietly to no one
And try and convince myself
That you are worth it.
I blow hot and cold into the night.
All these shelves are full of cobweb covered photo albums.
I pull them down and rifle through my mind.
Fingernails properly groomed,
I empty my love into you.
For one night at least.
But I awake to find a different person
With veiled, shaded eyes.
Fingers reach out to greet you
And then retreat
out of what? Fear?
You walk so forlornly down narrow country roads,
Dragging your baggage along behind you.
Eyes fixed firmly on the sky
You tell me to stop following you.
I can’t help feeling
That if I could only stop feeling
Then this would all make
So much more sense to me.
But instead I scratch my head
And draw a line in the sand.
A line that will not be crossed.
Something is very wrong.
In my mind thoughts are clear
And lucidly float behind my eyes.
I can feel soft words,
Some of them for you,
Dangling from my fingertips,
Hiding in the drowned spaces
between my glistening teeth.
But up close this mirror
Is muddied and scratched
With fingernail marks and
Something closely resembling
My very own brand
Of unsettling bullshit.
My tongue drips sour,
The saliva frothing and bursting
And steadily becoming
More embittered and lonesome.
Suddenly there are things
That I can no longer impart,
Not nearly so readily at least.
These problems course
Through my arteries and veins,
Through the skin on the
Back of my hands,
Along the bloodlines
That feed my brain,
My arrow-filled mind.
They lead me to believe
That some creatures were designed
To break with natures bonds.
And perhaps we will always blame others
For what we refuse to believe.
Or hate ourselves
For what we know to be true.
Walking past tunnel entrances
That lead down to sea I imagine
Giant dark throats opening to
Swallow me wholly down.
I feel like a mouth full of broken glass.
Numbers written all over my hands,
I frantically pass them in front of my face.
This steady rain is treason on my
Shoulders. It is unwelcome flattery
On the back of my neck and down the
Inside of my coat collar.
Through the web of raindrops,
This tapestry of tears,
The lights make the world
Shimmery and effervescent.
Something to be cherished or despaired.
And I find myself down at the shoreline,
The water frothing and churning around
My ankles, lapping up the back of my calves.
The moon sways on the seas surface.
I plunge deep into the saturnine sky.
I am lost.
This song is like
going through a tunnel at speed.
My thoughts are vines
growing in fast forward.
Your smile is like a knife edge
and yet somehow, at the same time,
a ripe half strawberry;
a child’s fresh teeth marks
still pressed deep in the flesh.
The moon is like the moon
but that’s hardly surprising
and similarly too, the moonlight
draping itself heavily across
the water’s surface
is just that: moonlight.
But the eyes of the ones I love,
now, they could almost be mistaken for
distant street lamps littering and illuminating
the edges of some endless and empty highway
that stretches out towards the horizon of my mind
and away from me
I want to write
of your gentle, sloping smile
but it’s not there again.
I want to tell of your
fingertips and your heartbeat
and of your turning, twisting words
to strangers on the
other side of the planet
but the truth is
I am lost.
None of these things
belong to me now.
They have fled like
children from the dark.
And now even the elements
I had longed to forget:
your holding hands,
your callous caress of his shoulder,
and the three words you whispered,
on the cusp of sleep
on a bus just outside of Mulranny, Co Mayo,
that I almost never knew,
I pull at the strands of them
as they unravel in my hands.
And there’s nothing there
to replace them,
save for intolerably intoxicated nights
and cringing, broken embraces
and the darkness.
The indefinable and indefinite darkness
that I dread.