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July 18, 2016

they leave
Holes behind them,
Wide open doors, worn out spaces
Where they used to sit
before they came to halt
And stumbled out
beyond the horizon of whispers

They leave,
Behind them,
absence of their speech
Small trinkets in wood and metal
new patterns you have to draw
And lack of warmth in silence

They leave
so that you can stumble
but baby i know i know
that your narrow walkway
Will end in a light switch
and not a moon eclipse

They leave
Holes behind them
Then we fall in
Then we crawl out

 

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July 11, 2016

Some days
I have no love
Between the worry
the anger of things
I give way to them
in various guises and
Unopened hands clench
Like teeth in the night
Which ends
with dreams of wolf me
Or world me
Not enough specimens to breed healthy
Of one
The people coating me in their faith
politics
Of the other

If someone

August 8, 2014

If someone had said me
a year ago,
“you will learn to walk
like you again
under a sun
that beats like a marching band drummer”
I won’t had believed them

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July 31, 2014

She still stands
on the corner
of Memory Lane and Salted Fields;
a Snow Queen in the making,
balancing our futures on narrow heels,
waiting for the blonde boy
in brown stockings made in Soviet
to bring her the magic mallet,
so that she can smash
the terracotta army of yesterday
just to get some shards
for her flower garden

The burial of a dog

July 24, 2014

The ground wouldn’t cooperate.
Shovels and steel spit clawed
at dry soil and rocks.
The earth was resisting
like it didn’t want the paws
and the tail
and the ears
and the cold carcass of yesterday’s love and sticks chewed into splinters and begging for table scraps and jumping to lick the face when you come home

Like it didn’t want pulling on the lead
and sitting on command
and play biting a bit too hard
and voiced discontent when people come home late in the night.

Steel sings its own song when it meets granite.

If there were sparks, they were invisible in the daylight.

Salt water from the pores
was mixing with that of the eyes.

You have to be methodical in your movement when the ground’s this hard.

He wasn’t alone, but in the end
he was the only one always there
when our dogs met their silence
in their cardboard coffins.

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June 10, 2014

I measure time
by auditing my cell decay,
and search with toddler greed
for patterns in my palms
that will reveal
the time we have together

She don’t believe me
when I say
that I will spend that time
by finding all the angles
that her face
so badly wants to hide,
when she don’t want
the cracks in her reflection
to be the web I see
when I observe her eyes

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April 3, 2014

If I was asleep
I would open my eyes and find her,
Lost between the birch branches in B Cemetery,
Hidden in the budding leaves covered in city dust on K street
Twirling with the eddies of rain as it escapes down gutters on S square

If I was not asleep
I would open my hand (the one that’s always closed)
present my palms to her (like a gift), and say

“Lex,
I still have the picture
where you smiled
that last time”

A her story

September 9, 2013

I was supposed to hold the hands
of boys with dirty knees
But I kept finding paper hearts
And then you rang for me

The gifts you brought to woo me
Were empty as a brand
But I was like a giggling girl
Because you held my hand

I wanted just to cheer you on,
to kiss you for your cheek
But when you came despite my pain
My voice was way too meek

I told my dad I wasn’t late
and that I played alone
But daddy guessed the truth and said
“Just tell him on the phone”

I couldn’t understand it!
My future’d been so bright!
But in my womb a time bomb
Was racing t’wards the light

There’s still a month or two to go
Before we meet the day
When tears will pierce the silence
And I will make you pay

Passing lights

April 3, 2012

She says
‘we all have to start somewhere’
keeping her eyes on the road.

milestones flash by through the night like cigarette embers,
and promises of other lives
wink wink wink
through the windows of houses we pass.

in the dark it’s hard to see.
bugs splatter against the windshield
as tens of life metaphors a mile
correct the wrongs we think.

her rubber smokes road
inch by inch.

the engine sings

She says
‘we all have to start somewhere’
keeping her eyes on the road.

diners go by like missed opportunities
every other hour
while we follow the words of the GPS
instead of a compass
because voices in the sky never lie

She shivers against the night
hands at ten and two,
clutching the wheel
just hard enough to turn her knuckles white
and I change tracks on the CD again

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January 3, 2012

Be patient ladybug
as I am now
while new year’s first born darkness
drags its lovers lips
along the footsteps
we are yet to take

Let’s jump
through every doorway that we find
like our every step
was the last one
that we would ever hear,
and every day the last one
we could sing

Pretend we leave no fingerprints
and breathe no sullied air,
and only need the light
to fill our lungs

Pretend we dance like children
jumping on a bed
oblivious of springs and rules and running time
and maybe
we will burn again,
So be patient, ladybug

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December 30, 2011

It was a Tuesday,
when we tried
to dive back into dreams
we’d left behind
like burnt out matches

That day we ran out
of the fire we needed
to burn all our notes –
a frail attempt, a step,
to start again;

you see –

the fire wouldn’t take!
our words
were made of steel
and in the north wind hour
when we woke
(to whispers of the dawn)
there was no burning,
only frozen laughter

Fog

December 28, 2011

fog comes
down over towers
like children’s hands
that reach towards your mouth
in hope of catching
all your sleeping breath
while bored commuters
warm the world
by shivering in harmony
on mornings
when I watched you sleep
as I was leaving

Still summer

December 19, 2011

It was still summer.
The wind blew in construction dust
in a stream of profanity
that fingered my windowsill
in a Japanese subway game of
grope-the-girl.

Upstairs, men with thick fingers
used power machinery
cutting the day into ribbons.

in the holy space between houses,
a squirrel hissed at a cat

the neighbours watched news
instead of Dr Strangelove
on tv sets that filled my room
with mute light
from across the street

Somewhere out of mind
bombs were probably falling,
and one tyrant or other
was on his way
to getting dragged through the streets

there was shit to do
and people to have
but I couldn’t bear it;
the cheap port tasted like sugar
but I poured another three fingers
and closed my eyes

just for a moment

Camilla was a poetess

December 11, 2011

Camilla had faith
and she felt the embrace of her lord
In the smile of a baby,
her daughter’s voice,
the smell of grass,
the silky sensation of bath foam against her skin –
all of that stuff, you know?

She was a glass half full
kind of girl.
I imagine she never
danced on the table
fucked on the first date,
lied, cursed
Or traded her body for favours.

She wore her hair short,
her metaphors close to her chest,
and the mountains that surrounded her
were a fortress
instead of a prison

Streetlight

November 6, 2011

I want to carry you like guilt
into a room
smelling of dust and books.

Like all the yesterdays we drowned in,
the mattress on the floor is a truth
waiting to be obscured
by the veils
that protect our songs from the streetlight

then you’ll remind me
that at night
the words that you say
become the oaths that i live by
until I die again

and I will reach for your lips
watching your eyes for danger