Take your tongue honey
And squash it up
Inside your mouth
Don’t let the words come out.
Just read the script
The way you should
Have those butterflies,
So obvious in your quaking hands,
Suffocate on the dioxide
Because no one has time
For anything else
But your handbagging
And manicure nails
Know your place sweetheart
And just read the words we wrote
True or not
This is something different. A song I’ve interpreted into naked poetry.
It doesn’t snow here
The ice would marry the red dirt
And the ghost gumtrees
Would become a canvas
For blood red handprints
I see my breath instead
Winter catching in my throat
Like a secret
Cold stuck in my lungs
Like a disease
The icy breeze gets in my knuckles
It swells my bones
And scares my body
From the inside out
Pushing needles through my skin
Fifty years from now
When the cold is too much
And my body old
I will envy the very day
I am living now
Best go paint some trees
I don’t want to be a rural library
Full of expected titles
Thrillers with predicted deaths
And echoed romances
A hero atrophied by his own ego
Loving a sugary woman with closed lips
Chapters of long gazes and held breaths
A history book finishing at 1984
And incorrect African geography
I want to be the tiny bookstore
With a blue front door
Only found by a strange set of wooden stairs
I want second hand titles
No one has read since 1972
A little slip of paper between pages 48 and 49
A pressed ticket to a Bowie concert
In the front
And a receipt for three months rent
In the back
I want to be a secret
Through a gap
In her clamped lips,
She sings out of tune.
Her hand-rolled cigarette
Spills grey ash
Onto her white t-shirt.
She doesn’t care.
On playing the piano
Forgive my sins against myself;
All the words
And the white noise.
For they might be the size of needles,
But make enough holes
And my blood leaks out.
“Naw Baby, ” he says with a smirk.
“Did you forget your meds?”
Taking off a wedding ring
He puts it on the faded dashboard.
I touch my wrist
Where my heart beats rapidly.
“Kicking on like hummingbird,” I tell him.
“You dead then? You’ve got them numb cheeks.”
“What’s that mean?” When he talks,
He hisses out his ‘s’ sounds
Like a stuttering snake. He’s fiddling with his zipper now.
“It means your face is falling like a dead man’s.”
“When’ve you ever seen a dead man?”
He laughs because he doesn’t know a damn thing.
“Lookin at one right now.”
Before he can do a thing
I push a fork in his eye.
While he screams,
Grabbing at the bloodied weapon
I unlock all the doors of the car
With his wallet, three cards and a fist full of cash.
Mama’ll be so proud.