DEATH’S DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

The eggs I haven’t the heart to crack

Lie dusty under my childhood bed

Where neglect was beautiful

 

In recent beds

Death curls at my sleeping feet

The imaginary friend

I forgot to love

Forced-feedings of sweaty traumas

He refuses to digest

But coughs up like hairballs-

Lumps of coal as dense as holes.

 

I forgot He loved me

As Baba Yaga loved the stars

She reeled in for dinner

 

I forgot because of Pulse

Because of the girl they found

At the bottom of my road

I mistook Him for drones

And gas leaks

And television static

 

I forgot dawn, I’m sorry Death-

I forgot your sunshine tenderness

A breath against my ear

As I nudged an eyeless badger stiff from the road,

Stood in a mountaintop plague of flying ants

And wetted my hands

To carry a toad’s sopping chill

From a palace ruins

 

There’s always a fat golden centre

A nucleus of warmth that almost is-

The sweating hands in mittens knitted

With trigger fingers.

The yolks

Unformed chicks slick with newness

 

I should have fed these to Death,

Spirits curled yellow and malted

Fried up for breakfast

(To show I knew there were maggots in his bedsheets too,

Mushrooms and dried blood and bone)

I should have cracked them against his fleshless chest

Like kisses against His intangibility

And let their stringy spill slip

Heavy into His swirls of absence

Splitting and merging

He could cradle them

And whisper welcome home.

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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.

SALT CIRCLES

How a plant holds tight its circle of original soil

Rifting the new

I can’t separate the roots

As hard as I try to shoot away

There are things buried

In the cold-toed earth beneath me

These ghosts feed me

in ways sunshine couldn’t

The way night-walks and the sight of mushrooms

And men crying does

Bald and unsightly

I buried so many little girls

In my back-garden

Beside cat skeletons

Under a tree where plums swelled and dropped soggy rotten

A part of me doesn’t know how dead-

Who the culprit

Whether I buried them alive

But she did die

She died

Over and over

And she is my cold roots

So many tiny toes

Rows and rows

There are so many new parts of me

So many circles drawn in salt

To exorcise the ghosts of mourning

It’s the old organs that feel wrong in my body

Like my flesh is trying to push my history from me

You can’t kill your own shadow

She scratches with my cat at the back door

She’s waiting at the window

She’s a wolf-child

You hear me?

She’s got such sharp little teeth

Dragon-hands

I love you like my little brother

Tree climber

Dog licker

Nettle-lipped with blackberry kisses

Let’s touch toes

Mine bigger and colder always breaking

I forget that you’re tangible still

The vastest organ

Skin, apple muscles

Extra-fingered collar-bones

Child of myself

Spirit and whole and live and dead

My baby ghost

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.