BED HEADS.

I turn over to you restless, fingertips at your jaw

I’ve been waiting on you, I’ve been all on my own

and I think you know.

 

The sun has crawled into bed with us,

seeping into our clothes

wrapping her arms around the smalls of our backs-

and I’ll give each day of my life

for that familiar nose, field of pollen specks

and the way it nuzzles the warmth of my neck.

 

Snowed in, I nudge at the covers avalanching you

wake you like lightning in Arizona

hitting deserts, fingers feathered out

like the hours that you licked tenderly from my face

lifting up my head like the wilted sunflowers-

darling they broke me.

 

This generation gave birth to machines

manufactured dreams suscitated with thumbs

an art collective, and we’re just two bed heads

two fuzzy bums keeping out the cold.

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I FELT THE EARTH SHAKE- BEN ZAMO

It’s okay; we can both take the blame

I’ll take on most ‘cause you don’t need that again

But your frown remains

Determined that my being around means I’m kinder

Means I’m caring

And I suppose you’re not wrong

I just dare not think of the reality:

You lacking sleep

Unpacking memories in a rented apartment

Playing Tetris with your feelings

As though squeezing your eyes closed will make them disappear

Your ceiling feels like it’s getting lower

And you’re slower to respond

I don’t think much of what’s going on

You’re just-        distracted

That’s it

I think it’s a little bit of both of our faults

Because I didn’t realise you were still scratching love letters into her front door

Slumped

The cold floor numbing your bones

Vaguely hoping she’s not home soon

I just want to be there to tell you it’s ‘Alright!’

Hold tight

Pull your weighted body home

Pretend I don’t notice how you change with the moon

I’ll ready myself to take your hand

Turn it over

Pick out the splinters as my stomach churns

Learns all the ways you wish you could change her mind

And your eyes spill secrets

Hitched breaths

Turned head to hide them

I’m not blind

Still, I don’t ask you the ‘why’s that have been hiding in my mouth

My lips can’t quite pronounce them

When you’re sending me thank yous in your Halliwell smiles

Insisting I’m kinder than

I am

A blessing of poor decisions

I kiss away the dampness on your cheeks

Use the saltiness to soothe my chapped lips and hiss

Your body shakes the bed

Tries to break away

Struggling to catch your breath

Pushing me-

Back

The attack of memories still plaguing blue

And you

Somehow apologising

Still crying

And I’m prying at fingertips

Apologies kissed in pink welts on my wrist

I-

Had a hollow heart when empty arms held me

Couldn’t breathe

And like I wished my mum’s arms were hers

I know you wish these lips weren’t mine

Even as you remind yourself that time will change things

And I’m scared because I wanted to prove that some people stay

But I’ve never known a pain that makes the Earth shake.

 

Ben Zamo 

 

GIRL WITH THE DULL DEER EYES.

I opened up my chest

ear to the low-frequency

tender as tenderness goes

wool soft and bird-boned.

If only we had read the signs

girl with the dull deer eyes-

I caught your head first heart

sunken in like the rain.

The evening it dissolves

this dwelling feels a little the same-

Ghosts prefer the chance of you

but this home is needing you

as I, your candid stillness.

We walk in the sun’s demise

girl with the dull deer eyes-

feet drag along smashed bulbs

that know the same hunger

deep where the light reaches them.

I opened up my chest-

it’s been stitched shut

by your implacable sweetness

cupped desire

we held up to the sun like water.

MIGRATION.

I fold the night around me

and I wake up in my bed of molten blue

beneath the shade of the Banyan

as I sniff the last patches of sunlight you sat in

where sometimes the light settled on you like pollen.

I’m here in your Supernova wake

thinking that the brightness will keep you safe, here

and the wind vehemently pushes the cotton sheet

running canyon along my back-

I can only think that your hands are strong

when mine are spent ripping tokens overdue

from the earth by the handful.

I fold the night around me

and I wake looking for some benign truth

as to why the earth was much bigger when I was four

when every day was forever and people like you

were blown like kisses to the stars.

I often wonder if gravity only keeps me here

or whether you’ve found yourself a better place

migrating, instinctually inside the cupboard or the sheets

so you can go in there to hide.

HABITUAL ISLANDER.

I do not know her now

but in between I do, somehow

pearlescent moon, title of traveller

far flung from her orbit

onto greensand, shifting shades-

little sea reveller with graffitied arms

habitual islander

pulling apart with the currents

tendons afloat, wide sargasso

torn ritually from bird skulls.

Hands sifting, searching

for love in the spaces of pumice

but it was just wet sand.

MY LITTLE YELLOW LIGHT.

We snuck a kiss in the bits of lights

Through long dense cord we neglect to remember

which held each light’s hand and bound our souls tight

buckling weak, overnighters

sweeping under each other as dust does.

I’m walking home, calves slipped into fish-nets

to my little yellow light suspended

in the violence of hurricanes- clapping the earth in fury

safety pinned to flesh I don’t know

and pushing against you in acres of skin.

TEAM

We hummed the beginnings of personhood

in our jerry-built camp, where we’d black out

and our lungs would cry

‘ I fucking love you!’

barefoot on a cold living room floor.

I’m bonded, you see

lassoed by indisposable recreations

and blue tac’d walls of liquor spilt smiles

shielding us from the uncertainty

that we’d never grow out of this.

We came and got our bearings right

Our lives messy but well loved

municipal stomping ground, in glittered tights

lips ripen with every spiced rum chugged.

This place will be understood forever

saying goodbye to familiar flagstones

huddled together for warmth outside

in makeshift tees and matching shorts.

I’ll never forget our battleship sofas

prized from our bums by sudden change-

we held the fort against loud voices

monsters in the kitchen, chopping knives

and yet our cultured charm remained.

We captured moments and we planted them

behind our eyelids where we knew they’d be safe

that we painted in glitter, stamped with loose gems

all grown up but still as baby faced.

One day we’ll go back and we’ll dance there again

hands in the air my warrior friends, sissy’n that walk

platonic hearts that others will never see

dancing amongst a hundred jewels of glass on the floor.