Overhung

I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink
alone

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.

Strain

hubris-flavoured hair gel
down the side of his beaming head
transfixed in a gaze
toward the other side of the room
sweat gathering
soaking through the creases of his ironed white shirt
beige designer umbrella, $7.99
grip tight slip-slide
“well, hey mate!”
reciting his script
greasing the hinges, the bolts
where he puts himself
animal eyes left and right
scolding his twitching chest
the organ can’t forget
even in the iron-cased chair
before the inferior and after the superior
between a hundred other chest protrusions in a line
all slick with the shine
of protein-powdered biceps
cock-scented calculators
sum it up for him,
the greatness of being one like the others.

Ocular Trauma

I was coating myself in glue

so I wouldn’t have to move

when you came to warm

your ego by the fire.

Your face was

carefully constructed,

an ice sculpture

you crafted yourself

in the mirror that morning.

 

But your voice didn’t reach me—

it got stuck

at the letter ‘I’.

 

I glared through the flames

and spat out the sparrows

pecking at the walls of my stomach.

 

They struck you above the ears,

such was the shock

that your eyes loosened,

unscrewed themselves, and fell out.

 

I caught them in my modest hands,

clutched them

to my chest.

 

When you left

to comb your black hair

with a brick

 

I kept your eyes

rolling around in my pocket

with a twenty cent piece

and a list of neglected wishes.

 

I found a park, where I sat

next to a patch

of marbled white mushrooms

and stared at my knees.

 

After an hour, I felt your eyes

looking through my clothes

at the ridge of my back,

my spine stretching forever

up, down and across.

 

I took out your eyes

and held them up

to the nearly cloudless sky,

begging them to see

from a higher point

or a more distant planet.

 

The six o’clock light

was stroking my cheeks,

begging me not to cry.

 

I tried to swallow your eyes

after my cup of hot lies

and a slice of dry hope

but I choked.

 

They wouldn’t go down

because they could never be

a part of me.

 

So I left them that night

on a street corner

underneath a flickering street lamp

in the hope that one day

they would see light.

Small Talk

she’s walking to class

holding books and a shiny calculator

her polite hair and polite mouth

huge bulging breasts

the clouds block the sun momentarily

her textbook is upside-down in an awkward

way so you see only the letters ‘la’

your eyes flicker upwards to hers

“hey! how are you?”

“yes, good- you?”

“yeah good thanks!”

thick black hair

black hair tucked behind hot ears

reaching down, down buttons being undone ripping down, down

“what subjects are you doing this term?”

“I’m doing –“

fucking

fucking hard on the floor

on the cold, hard floor

fucking in cold sweat on the cold, hard floor

her leg over yours tighter and tighter

“lit, finance, chem, creative writing and”

“oh cool. I’m doing finance too – hahha uah sorry”

bumps into you accidentally, hair stuck between your arm and shoulder

sliding her tongue up your

whispering, hot, biting, tearing

she clutches your hands and

she breaks your bones and

she

“hey um, how was your weekend?”