SKELETONS

she doesn’t fit into the same jeans

folded in the drawer in her room;

the ones with the scuffed knees

disclosing dirty bones.

She’s reached for the same clothes

in the same closet

where the monster feared most

made instruments from hangers

and hid teeth in her pockets.

Except there is no monster

but skeletons, rotten reminders

hidden carefully between coats

ugly truth in shoe-boxes

ghosts that haven’t outgrown her

yet

like the man she turned down

or the flowers that never bloomed.

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SUBJECT

I often forget

The mirror isn’t camera

There’s a hacker under the lenses

Of my corneas

Shooting me paralysed and pickled in snapshots

Of someone else’s desire,

My own skin rendered a suit

I’d rather crawl free of like pupa.

 

There are a lot of things that send my vision spinning:

Deafening offences

By women

And the screamingly obvious ways we’ve gagged their honesty.

 

Men’s eyes catcalling behind their lids

How can a look be so loud

And the subject so silent?

When did we forget to look quietly?

Catch the softness of an afternoon in the garden

The unspoken amongst the leaves

The bare tangibility of an unmade face in the morning

HUMANS ATTEMPT CHRISTMAS

They sit in the dark, under the sky of light bulbs

that pull observing eyes

colourfully strung satellites , microscopic dots

painting bucolic scenes.

The humans are at it again;

peaking sister out of bed, nicks all the milk

left for fluffy man in red suit, Sandy Claws

suspended on the drain pipe.

Doors down, the old King is dead

the Extinctionists next door killed poor Nick

stuffing the yearly cheer into box coffins-

pageantry piled up in the attic junk yard

of tinsel.

Some find shoulders of land

in living rooms hit by tornadoes, battleground

the fallen soldiers, death by wrapping paper.

LION WOMAN

Unto the forest she drags herself

spectral Queen with more than a bite-

quite the talker.

Lion woman could cut out your tongue

devastate you like meteorites

flung like punches under satellites

mistaken for comets.

The noble trees mark her transit

some stand, others are sold to the ground

like chopped limbs, barbecued

to lessen the risk

of caving in your skull.

Lion woman with her atlas hands

nothing but clear cracks and tears

from chemical burns

walks half full, fear fossilised here

in the wake of man.

She wants nebulas for irises

the warm hug of a space suit

like the tin foil blankets

they give you outside a hospital room-

at least then they’d save her.

She yearns to pluck the stars

and keep them near her poached heart

but they already belong to the galaxy

and the moon has the sun’s love.

 

CALENTURE

There is a sense of belonging

in wanting to touch the sun in gentle strokes

to smooth it in, acrylic smudge,

valley of yellow on your shoulders-

two proud beacons burning, feeding us with enough light to grow

from the rotting bark that has pulled apart to nothing.

The ends of my hands hold firm the beach rope that has longingly

held together our sleepy boat house

strawberry red cuts, gentle stings

and there is little now except the words that tremble

that rip apart my throat like a tangled mess of phone cord

spilling over berry bruised organs exposed for bird pickings

as the line breaks.

How is it that you slip so silently to garner wood and ill- strung words

when death turns under every stone

unscathed, when the wind slices so neatly at my cheeks

and its been weeks since we’ve seen home-

now nothing more than the fire we blow through our hands

to keep our lungs from collapsing.

TRIOP [EULOGY III]

Body serrated

The kind of monster you expect from a puddle

Leaf-like

So little time

Sift this temporary grounding through my gills

Tusked faeries hunting females

Toads rutting in the gloom

Eggs left in the dirt

Tadpoles grow legs

Crawl free

We are microscopic cannibals

Cloning ourselves, splitting in stress

Of the daylight death swelling

Above our heads

The choking that’s to come

That small, mud-born

Egg-sacked ghosts of ourselves

We will sleep until the rain falls

MONSTER

Let me read your palm little astronaut

You’re gonna outlive so many comets and stars

Let’s dig up dinosaur bones in the backyard

And lob tennis balls at prospective meteors

I’ll be the monster under your bed

‘Cos you make me feel giant

With all the motherly might of mountains.

I’ll always see myself as kinda frightful

Like a dragon in skin-costume

All scales and spikes

My tongue hungry and blue

I’ll eat you up for supper lovely

If you nick one more chip off my plate

I’ll make a necklace of all your baby teeth

 

I know why monsters keep children

Your sleep is time travel

You are my lonely history outgrown

My copy

Our matching genes linked like constellations above our sleeping heads

I’ll be a better monster than mine were

I won’t squeeze you too tight

I’ll let you sleep little caveman

I’ll let you gnaw at my wrists

And fight me with blankets

I’ll let you love me beyond my stitches

Love me like the velveteen rabbit

With the stuffing all knocked out of it