My legs shake
afraid of the zesty child
chipping like the white paint
that cover the walls of the house
now inside a sinkhole.
We’ve tinkered with it enough
the cracks and tears have already won
devastation deserving of medals
as we reason with the loss of her
buried inside her folding carcass.
But some nights our hands
still cup the lonely silt remains
belonging to this deadbeat land
spoiling our feathered fingers
too afraid she’ll be forgotten.
I’m scared she’ll keep us down there
to linger without lungfuls of sunshine
peeping through cotton mountains
we can see with care
through sofas wedged together.
I can hear the gentle noises as swift
as the sound of breaking bones
through the ribs of floorboard
she’s too shy to show-
too shy to spill her grief.
I look to the fire below, and I’m mesmerized
playing in the surf, of worlds inside our heads
red lightning beneath our feet
and I’m hypnotized.
The surface finally rips, eyes open wide
pulled under, its you that I lift
my gentle and kind.
I saw myself pull in two, falling
wrapping flesh round the other, a monsoon
of colour on the darkest night
carried by the tide.
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
like the man she turned down
or the flowers that never bloomed.
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
Some find shoulders of land
in living rooms hit by tornadoes, battleground
the fallen soldiers, death by wrapping paper.
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.
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.