Worry is a gilded cloud

Standing at the concrete wall
At the lookout spot at the top of the Conor Pass,
Your hair a mess of copper wires
Caught by the wind,
You remarked on the
Shadows of the clouds
Moving across the sky and
Blocking out the sunlight.

I like to think that you are the sunlight.
But does that make me the clouds?
Are we the wind?

Is now the shadows?

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You could pack a bag with all that baggage

You left
All this stuff at my house.

Does it have some significance?
What does a toothbrush mean?
This body scrub looks expensive.
Don’t you care about these socks?
Their mouse faces like distorted grins.

Or is it that you fear that I could
Hold something over you through them?
How can facial wipes remind you of a person?
How can they not?

It’s not that I resent it;
I don’t know how to be angry with you.
But this towel still smells like you,
Your pair of slippers are still lying by the door

And I don’t know what to do.

It’s not a war to be won, but…

And then quite unlike the
Way in which she left,
The muse returned.

I knew I was in trouble first
When I woke to the
Thought of her
In green and navy pajamas,
Hair a golden mess,
Carrying a tray of tea and toast slices.

The dress that I saw,
A shimmering grey
A pale mint
That was no longer
Behind the shop glass but
Twirling around flower beds
Above a pair of bare feet,
Was a bad sign to be sure.

And it is now that I find myself
Lying awake deep into the night, Biting into my pillow
And cursing myself,
That I know the real battle
Has only just begun.

Pretending to be

Outside the car
In the dark of this November night
The wind howls.
That old familiar wolf call
Whistles and twists above me.

But I am deaf to it
And to the encroaching cold
That seeps into the cabin.

I am trapped
In a bubble of you
3 feet in every direction.
Still. Calm.
Wretched.
Eyes flicker back and forth.
The odd word rings out.

The quiet tears that I cry
Are not my own.
They are yours.
They belong to you
Still.

The bass of the car stereo
Drones, dies and hums static.
It drags me back to reality.
Drowns me in the stuff.

I take a deep breath and a moment
To work up the courage
To get out and open the gate.

Since You

Since you
Opened your mouth
And spoke
those few words
I have lost my sense of taste.

Gone.
Isn’t it odd.

Not that much would taste sweet anymore
Anyway.

I remember the moment exactly
(Imagine that if you can)
When it happened.
You had just looked up
And said
‘Ben?’
In a questioning tone
And as I didn’t quite know
What to say,
Or how for that matter,
I didn’t.

I just sat
Close-mouthed
But perfectly dry-tongued
As clouds gathered across the
Darkening London sky above.

Sometimes I notice
That I forget certain

Words.
Or can no longer
Put
One
Beside
Another.

But that comes and goes.

Also
I should mention
Since then,
That hour,
I have been unable to see
The colour purple,
Certain shades of green,
Pink altogether,
Or black,
Although only when paired with
A bright despairing red.

Funny how such words
Such few words
Can have left me
So very
Empty.

Please
Don’t speak them to me again.

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.