Don’t Hate Yourself For Me. Don’t Love Me For Yourself

The wind tells me when to leave.
It howls obliquely
And I close my eyes.

It’s a strange fact
but it is the hands that I fear yet again;
The pleading golden ones
Waving in the gale
Or your gently distorted hooks
Twisted around my own.

My eyes are black with thought.
Your skin, the feathers of swans.
Seven of them,
Necks all curled like thumbs,
Beaks like swollen yellowed fingernails.

I pull at the skin around my mouth
And it comes away in my hand
Like sheafs of paper.
Leaflets about fear,
About melanoma,
schizophrenia and depression.

I offer you a cup of my love
And you sip at it politely,
Making jokes about Parkinson’s
And the the shivering of my fingers
All about your face.

A New Route Home

The glowing ember
Of your cigarette tip
Gives you away
As you lunge forwards
Out of the shadows
Of some waterside willow.

The glint of a blade
Catches the glow of
A streetlight and you
Bark some incoherent
Order or threat to me,
Presumably regarding
The releasing of valuables
Or something of that nature.
But I stare

If you had to,
Could you have
Used the knife?
Perhaps, to seperate
Some of the stubbly skin
Just below my jaw or, maybe,
To loosen the flabby midriff
And thrust up below the ribs.

Would you have lowered me gently,
Like someone bathing an infant,
To soak up the murky canal water
Like a human sponge, my face
Sleeping but blue and bloated?

Fortunately or not, we shall never know
As the horn of some passing houseboat
Unsettled you and you told me gruffly to
‘Fuck off’ and I made my move
Off into the night and towards home,
My heart beating like the hammers of hell.