her smile ignited,
faltered, like a
with a faulty connection,
then shorting out.
I am not up to anything
I am staying in with my pain
I was just a change of scene for you
You are as heartless as a person alive can be
And I love you
To the loose threads of my soul
In the most secret corners of my heart
I love you as you laugh
Exactly as if nothing ever happened
I love you as you walk away
Exactly as before
pinned to your chest
you attached it yourself
how could you comprehend
it marked you out for death?
like the oversize white Xs
they paint on the trunks
of condemned trees
in suburban streets.
a line of numerals
on your forearm
reminds you of the time
you fell into a world of harm:
a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from.
your cancelled future may have held a child
with no idea that that school badge of merit
that proud distinction
now coveted and craved
pressed onto the top
righthand corner of the page
once spelt extinction.
perhaps he can still remember
the unique and special
taste of the paste
on the tip of his tongue,
as he carefully moistened
its delicate reverse.
he may equate it with success,
a past perfumed with chalk dust,
promise and hopefulness.
but you too were once like this,
running in a playground
of levelled light-grey gravel,
invincible and breathless,
a coloured sash across your chest.
unafraid and innocent,
not knowing what it was then
not possible to know.
and now there is no unknowing it.
Image from Wikipedia, Antisemitism
thank goodness for the ends of days.
arrive home in time to watch old heroes
escape from paradise, to shower off
the menopausal women, talking about
pyrex dishes and bread and butter pudding.
or betty who had her cat put down.
distressing stories passed around like herpes,
or someone’s packet of scampi and lemon crisps.
we say goodbye to the machine.
take refuge in the endless adventures of the screen.
adelaide clemens, bashfulbadgersblog, benedict cumberbatch, blog, christopher tietjens, for you, ford madox ford, john denver, lovers, NaPoWriMo, parade's end, poem, poem in a white ribbed vest, valentine wannop
Is that look he wears
When the sun goes down;
The quiet satisfaction
That another day has passed
Without quite breaking him in its grasp.
Through a crowd of others,
All insignificant, oblivious,
His gaze is locked on hers.
And his face is stricken,
A picture of lostness and despair
She simply cannot bear.
An anguish bone deep
He can no longer conceal.
But he won’t bother to
Beseech his tormentor,
Expecting no mercy
And craving no quarter.
He accepts his lot is
To be brokenhearted,
Vilified and damned.
Won’t stretch out his hand
To save himself;
Declines to even lift his head.
Nothing to be done
But weather the storm.
Circumspect and brave,
Endure, endure, endure.
He’ll stiff upper lip them
All into the grave.
Video from Katya Aristova on YouTube
infecting you with warmth –
your limbs relax into a hot water bath
of the safe place of his heart.
he spins a truthfulness into your head,
revolves your name around his tongue,
you tend to believe whatever he’s said
when he’s tangled up in damp sheets on the bed.
he rubs his eyes like an exhausted child
intent on staying awake to prove a point.
sometimes his expression is astonishingly mild,
other times it’s like he’s burning up inside.
there’s a languor to his
early morning limbs.
he could wring his hair out,
its black tendrils drip over
the honey toned sweetness of his face.
he’s slick with sweat and accident
in a sticky Louisiana summertime
where the air feels like long ago
and the road in the distance shimmers
like you once saw in a movie.
the nicotine kisses you used to find
so intoxicating you shy away from now,
his mouth like an ashtray on yours,
his face lit and unlit by the lights of cars
pulling in and out of the motel lot.
there’s times his turning and setting
his watch down on the night stand
by the budget room queensize bed
has a finality as definite as
the metallic slide and click
of someone behind you loading a gun.
Photo by Belinda
ironing in the semi-detached,
saturday afternoons that have already
blended into night time in November,
do you remember,
as you throw things away out of drawers,
your mother maybe in an apron
(not as I recall her, shrunken, beaten,
white-haired, drinking ginger wine
out of a flask, in an old people’s home)
but young, trodden on by circumstance,
arriving at dawn in strange halls of big houses,
or in rain, shivering outside doors?