She was scared of buttons —
‘It’s the way they stare, with two empty holes,
Until you drown inside them.’

I felt her disgust,
They were white and round and I almost understood it then —
How upsetting it would be to have two pupils in one eye,
Seeing all the way inside your head and further down
Into a place where darkness has no colour, sharp and cool
Wrapping her arms around you.

On the other side, there is no button,
Only two black holes in her face.



Cartesian Coordinates


The maps in their heads didn’t add up.

He became one with grass, long before she learned how to walk the streets without holding the hand of her mother. Her hair braided with velvet charcoal ribbons, the colour of his eyes.

Time is no one’s friend, but some pray to soften the heart he doesn’t have.

He spent most of his days buried in manuscripts, locked against the night by candlelight.

She went out too much, drowning solitude in cheap encounters, glitter in her eyes, stilettos and bleach. Looking, to never find.

Some are given a year, a month, a minute —
Fools never understand how they starve at feasts.

He was never calm about it, fought his own shadow for money, asking strangers for bullets, trading sanity for opium in the water rituals.

She said, There is no need to feel if you approach yourself scientifically; it’s all hormones and enzymes conspiring to bring you down.

Their separation was good for society, indicating a significantly lower crime rate in the area.

He never married, used sex to temporarily forget; making love out of his reach, on a wet Monday morning he decided to learn how to fly.

She married too much, divorced several times, thought relationships were all a big cock and money, until the last day persuaded her, she did love them all.



The Painting


In the deepest, darkest corner, where the velvet carpet ends,
Hangs a dirty, dusty frame; on the wall of fleur-de-lys.

When all children go to bed, music ends, a rattling noise,
Rat shrieks that make me leap…

‘Meet me there,’ — you said to me — ‘for a lusty
Goodnight kiss.’

I am scared, and you’re not coming,
This empty frame stares at me —

There’s a voice, without a voice —
In my head, it turns to a scream.

In its chalkiness the moon gazes at me, finger-paints the shadows
On my face, this light turns my skin immortal…

…you’re my artist. ‘You’re my muse! Follow me,
And kiss my hand, lick my fingers clean of paint,

Clean my soul, like a stream, free me of ancestral sin,
Kill my mind that weeps for you! Let me settle, strike —!’

In the middle of the room, lit with a candle chandelier,
Hangs a frame, and in it — me, on the wall of fleur-de-lys.



The Fear of Falling


‘It was

_____________in her
____to fall

Pressure was adjustable, breathe slowly, avoid coffee,
Stress will do you no good – that kind of thing
Stare him down, mind; point blank range, shot once
Skin was the barrier of normality, inside you could boil a kettle

The song was about him, hidden deep in the sock drawer
To want is a hunger above all, I borrowed this paranoia from rats
Under the city their eyes always closed, sharp acid burns
Leaking wisdom, their tails bound, Hail! Long live the king!

With/draw/all the pink puff spilling, we rave on the Hubble telescope
Static dust settles; were there ever words enough? Explain falling –
You lean over the bars and jump, begging not to shit yourself on the way down
Some say it’s ravenous; experience eating the world all at once