Heading Home from Home

As I trudge along to the stop
Suitcase in tow,
The broken wheel scraping the
Icy concrete footpath,

Your almost-incredulous,
Crooked little smile sits
Right in the edge of my vision.
Blurred ever so slightly
Like the webs of ice
On the leaves above my head.

So early, cold and quiet.
Even the birds know better
Than to greet this half morning.
I wish I was in bed
With you
Under four layers of blankets.
Cocooned.
Toes touching….

I pull my hat down tight
And hand the driver my ticket.
11 more hours.

I should be changing the sheets

The pillow
Where I have lain my head to rest
Is steeped deeply with you.
Your delicate scent but also
The slow curve of your cheek,
The gentle rise of your breath
And the lashes of your
Half
closed
eyes.

When I close mine I can almost feel
The the groove and judder
Of your spine beneath my fingertips,
Your feet, warm,
in the small of my back,
And the moisture
On your open, waiting lips.

The Box

At first he thought,
Somewhat presumptuously,
That the box contained
All of his words.

He had been silent
So many months
That he assumed that
His thoughts had been dragged
From his lips
And placed into the box.

For what end, nefarious or otherwise,
Well in truth he hadn’t considered.

He longed for the box to be opened
And had tried all the keys he could find.
He had opened hidden boxes before.
Many mysteries had been uncovered.
But this one was stronger,
More resolute.

Finally she came.
The key bearer.
She who would open the box
With it’s intricate carvings and inlay
And release his words
For him to use.

She was so beautiful.
She brandished a small, bronze,
Heart-shaped key.
It had to be her.
It had to be…

The key slipped in the lock.
It turned noiselessly.
She lifted the lid.

He peered in.

The box contained nothing.

But not just nothing;
Less than nothing.
A void-less, soulless, sleepless nothing.

And too late he realised
That the box was not a box of words,
His or anyone else’s.
It was a box of silence.
Complete silence.

The lid closed
With the slightest of clicks.
Footsteps faded away
On roughly hewn cobblestones.
The ages gathered.
The box remained silent.

Fingernails, silence and anxiety

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
Encroaches
Deafeningly loud.

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.

If my heart had glass walls it would be a slaughterhouse

In the northern lands
Of ice and snow
Where the winds are born
You made your presence known
Among my thoughts.

Your eyes glowed behind my own,
Like shards of brilliant blue ice.
Your necklace strung with
Glimmering Germanic teeth.

‘You smile too much’
You stated solemnly,
Matter of fact.
‘I will take now what you owe me’

Toothless it seemed,
and thoughtless too,
I wandered for days,
In the heartland of the
Shiver and the prayer for
Safe return.

I gritted my blooded gums
And steeled my breath.
I feared we would not last the night.

Manon

I have avoided my heart for so long
But with you it’s so easy.
I don’t have to second guess myself.

The pages of the books roll open
Coloured in ever brighter shades,
A rich melted green the most vivid.
At night I close my eyes
And dream of you
And in the morning
You are still there.

Change taught us how to grow and grow we did…

The windows in all the houses
In which I have ever lived
Shine opal black in the moonlight.
Like giant dark eyelids closed
To an even darker night.

You have your fingers
In all of my eyes
Donating to my consciousness.
Your fingernails scrape
At the back of my throat.
They entangle themselves
In my vocal chords.

This wind is one of
Change and indifference.
It fills and drys the sheets
And pulls down the chimney
Stacks one by one.

As I drive home at night
I lose my face in the darkness.
The road markings shimmer and glow.
My head is full of the past,
My ears buzz with it.
My nose strong with its stench.
I pull into a darkened driveway,
Black as an open mouth at night.
I move off away into the sky
With not a single star in sight.

Wringing

This small wooden boat,
A dark stained rosewood,
Rides this wave of doom,
Of rising guilt.

We are perched precariously aboard.
Every time I reach out to touch you
It is out of fear. But the bruises I leave
Are dark with infatuation.
It seeps into your skin
Leaving its discoloration
for a week or so.

But once again my feet are predictably growing cold.
Water seeps into the boat and we are sinking.
You are sobbing thick disconsolate tears.
I try my best. I take a hold of the oars and pull.
The wood comes away in my hands.

Finally though, after many years,
You take them in yours,
lean down and close your eyes.
I do the same and the world
is suddenly dark.
Quietly we survive.

At least for one night

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.

A Lot Of Dreaming

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.