poetry, prosetry

Now You Are 71

In the darkness I swayed, numb and unsteady in platform heels, outside the place where you used to live, looking up at the window where so many hours were spent smoking, people-watching, daydreaming, counting how many motorists weren’t wearing seatbelts.

The lights were off: there was no one home.
This statement can be applied
to the apartment and your brain
in your final days.

I tried the gate:

locked.

Wriggled a shaking hand into your old mailbox:

empty.

Looked for the label with your name

taped next to the buzzer for Flat 1:

gone.

With my heart in my throat
I turned and walked away
into the warmth of the pub next door
where so many friendships were made
where your laughter once roared
where memories were shared
of you, an extraordinary man,
and glasses were raised
to you, my darling Dad,
on what would have been
your 71st birthday.

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Uncategorized

Foliage

adult backbone black and white dark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ever notice?

It means nothing to them?

those girls with peaches and cream, café au lait, peau de couleur foncée

their lush hair, plump calves, rosy cheeks

kiss us like they mean it with open mouth, little inquiring tongue

force of two coming together, chests heaving in sync

who knew straight girls could give so much in the heat of a moment?

unhooking bras, peeling underwear, knowing they’ll be kissed where

their boyfriends press with lack of ardor

for we girls are midnight foxes, we stay in places others only visit

fleetingly

complaining of neck pain, jaw pain, inability to know the ins and outs

oh we know the ins and outs, we know the inside curl and the convex

like a well drawn map

they pull their panties down for us so eagerly, we’d be fooled into thinking

they were of our same kind

save the removal of warmth, after all is reached and swept

beneath damp sheets for memory to play. Saying;

Goodbye, Bon Nuit. I must go now, it’s getting late, he will wonder why

I’m not at home with dry underwear

perhaps even opening herself to him, that very evening to atone

for her strung up, hidden outside pleasure

such is the girl who cannot love other girls and yet

finds only release in what they might know and give

surely one of the same mold knows, the key a little better

willing then, to bend and contort, stay for an hour in one position

without complaint

her breasts making dents of thin cotton, her fists curling like words out loud

the nape of her neck, slick and wet with her urge

she doesn’t reciprocate, her kind never will

she’s the impossible beauty, a girl who loves girls seeks

unattainable, disinterested, sinking to the floor in shame at

the concept of trading places

she’ll give you the time it takes to make her cry out

leave an imprint of her body against your mattress

the ink and glow of her skin a permanent reminder

she’ll never be one of you, nor wish

to lend you her heart

only her glorious body and all its angular expressions

only those afternoon moments

when he hasn’t pleased her or she

longs for your brand of deep caress, how you know

what to do to make her moan

fingers against fingers, thighs, hips, buttock

she is every shape of lovely from her arching neck

to the indent in her pelvis where she lets you stray

and play such secret music

things never to be admitted or spoken aloud

when you meet in public you are two women

buttoned up and indifferent like bleached wood

betraying nothing of her torn blouse or

the slide of her stockings from willing legs opening

how she pushes against you to enter her

fill with longing the bursting pulse within

you want to tell her you have loved her since

first meeting

when rain brought her to the library and shyly

you asked if she needed a towel and she replied

no I like to get wet, it never rains enough

her eyes grey and huge, like lamps in darkness

you think of teasing her hair from perpetual dampness

on her thin arms and how flung back they resemble

an instrument to be ravished

how you curl around her with your ardor and pressing

deeply fulfill your own needs against her loveliness

not shared, without return, a woman who will

pack herself away and leave by mail

like an unwritten postcard she is blank, unwilling

to be spoken

you stay in silence afterward

her breathing ragged, gasping you want to hear her

say I love you in every way, especially how you

set me alight with your touch and every time you

kiss me with your full lips I moan even more for

the core of your very heart

Lorsque tu résonne jusqu’à mon coeur

tu capture mon esprit pour le faire voyager

these things of torment

to a girl who loves other girls

and falls for a woman who is already

moving away

merely using your hands and your mouth

as if plucking leaves from a deciduous tree

to see if indeed they will

fall and stay

on the ground

 

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fiction

SCUM*

They are cooking a roast dinner. She is rifling through the drawers, searching for her favourite knife, and he is behind her, smashing some meat with a mallet.

“Carrot,” she says, to no one in particular.
“What?” he shouts over the thuds of hammer on flesh.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking aloud,”
“About what?”
“About these carrots,”

He stops.

“What about them?”

She has been good today. No outbursts, no tears, no troubling comments, no injuries, no nastiness. She has washed her hair, and brushed it. She has been writing a lot. She has had a glass of wine. Hopeful of her good mood, he anticipates an observation about the carrots’ phallic nature; perhaps even a dick-size joke, a cheeky comparison, the carrots being tiny, himself being too big.

“Carrot,” she says again, picking one out of the bag and inspecting it.
“Yeah?”
“Carr-ot.”
“Why are you pronouncing it weird?”
“Car-rot.”
“Is that how they say it in France?”
Ca-rrot.”
“Why are you saying it like that?”

He stares blankly at the back of her head, mallet in hand.

As she turns to face him, her knife catches the light.

“Carrot,” she says, slowly, “sounds like a blend of ‘garrote’ and ‘carotid.’”

Potential For Violence enters the room and stands between them. The three of them share a long, tense twenty-seconds together in the tiny kitchen.

“Oh gosh,” she says, suddenly, “I think I’ve been watching too many true crime documentaries lately!”

She laughs, eyes down, embarrassed. She replaces the knife with a glass of wine and sips with a wide smile.

“Yep!” he says, relieved, remembering why he loves her, “sounds like you’re right, babe,” he quietly places the mallet down on the counter, “so let’s watch some comedy on the box tonight then, shall we?”

Potential For Violence leaves the room as quickly as he arrived.

“Sure,” she replies cheerfully, and goes back to skinning the bright orange cocks.


*Society for Cutting Up Men

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prosetry

The Dream House

I should’ve realised that we weren’t going to make it on that sunny June afternoon when we were wandering around that big empty house in Essendon. Your eyes, those topaz stones I could never get sick of studying, were watching our future children playing in the garden (a boy first, you’d insisted, then a daughter). Your own face was childlike that day, so full of excitement and hope. You were babbling, saying things like, “Can you see yourself cooking me dinner in this kitchen?” You were envisioning a future that I couldn’t imagine, let alone see.

I tried. I wanted to want it too. All I really wanted was you but if having a kid or two was what I needed to do to keep you then that’s exactly what I’d do. But I was terrified. I was terrified of a tiny version of us growing inside me. Panicking over my sudden assumed role as “wife and mother” with no time to write, no room to breathe, no space to be. Internally screaming at the prospect of relentless mortgage payments. Fearing that our babies would inherit my sadness or my madness or both. Worrying about hypothetical meals not being served on time, accidentally murdering my orchids, forgetting to pick the children up from school and never getting used to the absence of silence. Frightened that I would be forever stuck in a life that isn’t truly mine, but reasoning that it’d be fine because I’d be stuck to you. Did I even really want you forever, or had I tricked myself into wanting what I was supposed to want? Had I merely deluded myself by dreaming someone else’s dream?

As I wandered around the house alone, I quietly considered which room I could end my life in if I chose to, assessing which fixtures I could hang from and wondering what the freestanding bathtub would look like with red water spilling over its edges. At least the crimson flood would complement the nursery which we are going to paint lemon yellow.


‘The Dream House’ is a rewrite of an earlier work.

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Our dark house

feet tattoo

Photo by James Ranieri on Pexels.com

Step high into your shoes remember 1997

religion is in the wind and the climb of dark

you swoop around me like fabric and rage

we dance in weave with each other my eyes are

closed and see

how you want and how i want and how neither of us

shall never get what we need

i am loose shouldered and my hair is indigo in

the winter time where people close their doors and

you hammer me open against cold grass

lattice clocks pressing their time

henna tattoos, a marriage of dark and light

the sight of you in circled moon glow

our motion and our resurgence

the way young bodies climb and fall against

the future

bare feet on splintering wood you say

look how your shape echoes against that glass

and you take a photo in your mind as I hear

the fast train we missed, rushing past

leaving its tossed exhaust

I held your head in my arms you talked like

people do after they are spent

we pretend we know everything when we know

nothing

whirling silently in space

the fabric of the world is torn and gaping

like clothes ruined by a furtive need to

be pleased against rage and sadness

proffering bouquets of need hidden behind

retreating shorelines

it is the chemical of your blood and mine

swirling behind our eyes lying to each other

and the stones are hard even when you

spread a blanket on them

just like you said it would be mama

gathering my hair and watching it fall like

words cut from meaning against shadows

breasts that hold their secrets press against

the burning beneath

and the world is raining

and we are missing

cut out silhouettes

rubbing their imprint

in memory

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Burning without fire

close up photo of red candles

Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

Last night I scalded myself Mama and as the boiling water ran down my arm

I saw you through the pain and you were smiling and everything was wrong

how you are alive and yet gone, how you exist and yet don’t, how I was never right

and somehow always mistaken

If I don’t come from you then who? My mitochondrial existence and all the women before us

seem to pass into memory and then detached, by our severing

every day I wake and I think of you and then I remember

you’re not thinking of me

What tenderized my heart so? Pounding it until it cried out

I know it’s futile and still I yearn

What compelled it to continue beating even after the obvious?

I loathe that about myself and I love that about myself

I am like a ship in a bottle, you cannot figure out how I came to be

full and whole, encased in glass and yet

I am neither full nor whole, but hungry and drowning

a featherweight, a word, something you created and then said

no you can take it back, I don’t want it any more

(I never did / I pretended / it was the mask of a mask in a mask)

and so I went far and nowhere

near and not close

wondering what will come first? The last loss of you, or the first diminishment of

my eternal want?

Who am I kidding? With endings there remain

more scabs to pick off, prayerful knees and bowed heads

no amount could achieve

forgiveness or whatever it is I need to be to

change everything that cannot be changed

so I watch myself and you

I watch nothing and no one

empty their expressionless pockets into water

watch the colors of us turn dark and indistinguishable

as if we’d never been and I am not sure

where or who I am without you

like a glass blower who stands on the quayside

wondering if

the boats will come today

marking the horizon with their

dusky forms

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