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.

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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.

Child

When they got back
the door was ajar,
the handle smeared
with some dark, subtle substance.

The boys were still asleep
and her light was on
but she had gone
screaming out of that place.
You could feel it ringing in the walls
and on the smooth, mark-missed floor tiles
with not a thing to tell their heavy, searching eyes
if she had struggled,
if she had even tried.

Sentiment

You spread out
your hand on a piece of paper.
I remember it was yellow
legal paper actually,
the sort that’s too thin
and you can see right through.

“Are you watching?”
your smile said.
And taking some odd felt tip pen
you traced it out
carefully.

Passing it then
to me
“Something to remember me by”
your eyes said.
“Not to worry,
I’ll be back”
your lips lied.

And I appreciate the sentiment
I really do,
but in the end
I am left here alone,
and in the end
it was only ever sentiment.

Forget Sentiment

Sometimes
you pour your heart out
in to a few empty tea cups
to see how it settles and warms.

Sometimes you chew
on the remnants of days
to taste their dull bitterness again.

Clouds pass
and rain falls in the garden.
The wind whispers her name
and you fall asleep
knowing that it isn’t for pity
but for a brighter sense of the world
that you strive everyday.

Spreading out a map of the world,
you colour in all the places
you’ve been in your dreams.
Paris is deep blue
and all the southern states
are gently shaded in pastels.
The coasts have been highlighted
so that they’re slightly heavier.

This poem that you have been writing
is filled with too much of her.
It imprints the ominous outline of her smile
and pulls the strands out of you one by one.

Forget history.
Forget sentiment.
Perhaps some things were meant
for you alone. To hold and harden
like the brightest diamond.

Alcohol and Anticoagulants (or Warfarin and Wet Kisses)

Your open lips I have
encountered of a night
when, dulled and nulled
by phosphorous light,
we may have danced.
I cannot be sure
for eyes were blinded,
memory poor.

I entered this dream
like a room without door,
the ceiling all stars
and a blackened wood floor.
A small gentle mouse
with some grays in his coat
breathed his last gentle breath
and opened his throat.

And I knew then that life
would be always like this:
that the ones you had loved
would be the ones you would miss.
So i steeled myself
to the darkened abyss
and settled my soul
in your warm, twisted kiss.