Evening seminar

She was talking up to the ceiling
orange LED reflected in her teeth
 
I felt like – what did you say?
oh yes, Youth Group
the hall reminded you of Youth Group
 
Not that I was ever there in the first place
another girl’s past splayed out before me
 
The topic was colour
and my back ached like stone
 
Light danced like a junior-school disco
my friend in glasses smiled meekly

Rubbing her hand
across the circular table
 
We were somewhat stale, or grown up
 
Before leaving
I took a sip of water,
then a gulp,
then poured the glass over myself
 
Ran head up
dripping from the theatre

 

Middle Meadows Walk

By the clouds, by the stars
I am enclosed

Rachmaninov lifts me from the cement below
Whispering in my cold ears
His orchestra soars
Matching my magnified heartbeat

Half way down the path
My doppelgänger shadows smirk
I fear that I’ll turn around, hands in pockets
To see my own night-time figure peering back

My dark imaginings,
The gothic moon above,
Pulsing strings and deep blue dread
Beams down in Russian black

Everything crescendos
Until I feel my keys

And see the sodium street-lamps
Guide me to my door
With their golden, unblinking eyes

The Walk Home

Tied

It escaped from my grasp

with the wave, with the wave

I found it there no further a walk

because we walked, we walked

and I sought to dig it from deep

where it stuck, it got stuck

no longer could the lid from the jar

open in the time I couldn’t, the time

all it needed was a source of light

the dark sets in at noon, the dark

after hours it fell down harder

I let it fall, and it fell

tightly wound as a rope around my hands

I’m tied up now, tied up

loose ends taunt me as they never have

now I can’t escape, escape

so I sat down to breathe

waiting for peace, my peace to come

Three Romance Haikus


Far from the castle

she flies through the mist

and her iPhone beeps

 

*

 

I often pray for

the small patch of hidden light

under my office complex

 

*

 

Could fight for Justice

Could give your life for World Peace

could just go online

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.