“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.
Fur leaf clones left well alone
Dry guts and deep cuts
Slumber days and far fetched nights
Sex on concrete steps
Hard won love, laid to rest
Red lights and monkey bones
Gun-toting hippie homes
Near death walks in desert
Talk talk talk
Walk walk walk
Animal print balaclavas
Smoke to pin-point shame
Yesterday’s questions – no brain
Dance naked despite gravity
Love with levity
Eat your liquid breakfast
Through a tube
Scratch the bruise.
I get heart palpitations at least once a day
Its my anxiety trying to break through the skin
Herald a new day at my throat
So as to see the sunshine one last time
Before a tumble of darkness swallows it down
Down into my stomach
Down where it fries like chips in oil
Down where it constricts and restricts
The large and small gut
Down where it digests too much and coughs so little
No let go
All big tangled white lies
Like a turtle in the ocean
Trapped in the plastic of your 6 pack holder
It churns and twists itself up
So I sit with gaping belly
And mind full of madness
Worry over the rest and the beginning and the forever
Blood curdles over the ends and the never and the has to be’s
On a ship fraught with my own spectres
Sailing half mast
But full flight
Out where the seas are rough
The nights are dark
And the fathomless oceans
Of my own fright
Swallow me whole.
You know what I’ve realised?
We’re all miserable.
Cathy, three doors down with the spotty cheeks
And loud, obnoxious children –
And Beth, covering herself up while walking home
From another late night class
Gripping the wine bottle like an inhaler –
Nicholas, the guy with the fruit chin and
Cauliflower ears who smells like soup on a good day –
And Mike, who spits out poetry like its God’s gift
To the unpublished kingdom –
But he owns it.
We all do.
In between fucking
And writing it down in blogs and vlogs and Facebook posts
Twisted up in cocktail pictures on Instagram
And faceless ponies on our quick fix Snapchat
We are all fucking miserable.
Because we were told we could achieve anything.
So when we get to anywhere and we realise it isn’t anything,
We consider the things that may have led us some place
Because no one likes a man
In sweatpants, eating cornflakes
On a second hand loveseat,
Watching re-runs of Golden Girls
On a Tuesday afternoon
I’m there too.
I tumbled through the lights and bulbs
Like Alice and the hole.
I looked to either side and saw nothing
But a way out to China.
A cold thumped me right-side up
There the world was big
And I was small.
Everyone was having babies
With rings on their fingers
And bells on their toes
So we could hear them coming
With promises in their pockets,
A jingle jangle of small change,
While my own pants lay silent.
This world only ceased
When my double made an effort
To say all the right things
To all the right people
With their mouths full of teeth
And tea up their sleeves.
Yes, I am fine
(I say to a lady with red wine lips)
Yes, I am fine,
(She stands up to brush away crumbs)
Yes, I am fine.
(Her skirt flays out like the petals of a rose,
Her face tells me she doesn’t actually care)
She promised herself
To eat five things a day
Yesterday is was tomatoes
The day before grapefruit
The day before that mince meat pies.
She promised herself
To clean once day
Tomorrow it’ll be her toothbrush
Today it’s the compost heap
But yesterday was funny
Not ha-ha funny
More odd than anything else
She saw her own reflection
In the mirror by the door
So she ate her third tomato
And imagined herself as a vegetable
Slipping down the gullet
Of someone making promises.
Today she lathers her toast
With what looks to be mottled yoghurt
She got the idea while elbow-deep and cleaning.
There were five caterpillars in her fridge this morning
Only four to go ’til sundown
There’s a nest which sits well above my heart.
I’d like to say it was the home of a wren
But it belongs to a raven.
It is clever, heavy, wicked and wise
And it sees you.
My raven collects things,
Tiny metallic objects
Which nestle in the twigs above my heart.
I’d like to say they shimmer and shine,
But they cut
Forcing me to grow scar tissue in places
I never thought I would.
My raven tells me things,
Whisperings in its croaking voice
Chants like those from outside of sound.
I’d like to say it is made of music,
But they are maniacal and truthful,
All the things that make me breed
Just a little more madness
Just a little more hate.
There’s a nest above my heart
And it presses like a coldness,
Pushes like a heaving force,
And lands me in a world of trouble.