He rose like steam to the milky sky
his breath light and his eyes wide.
Palms upturned like flowers in bloom.
Then he was still, a sack of bones and flesh.
I was furious at the clock, and at the traffic.
At the very fact that the world-
that my world continued without him.
Quite clumsy but I’m working on it
You’re anchored to the earth,
but by a single blade of grass.
One gush of wind too strong
and its concrete crossed with glass.
You’re a baby’s breath away
from fading like a dream.
You’re a fraying piece of cloth
hanging on by a single seam.
Yet you are also the force
that keeps ground beneath my feet.
You’re everything that’s solid.
You’re everything complete.
You told me not to rhyme, so I did.
A god sneezed and here we are.
One cosmic cough away from disaster.
The early morning commute.
The day bleeding red.
Cold air, hands in pockets, traffic lights.
Bus stops and building sites.
Morning lectures. Note taking.
Nonsense writing. Senseless living.
Secret smiles, silent dread.
What’s the time? I’ll wait.
The smell of wet pavement.
An approaching siren.
A violent thought and a soft sigh.
The inexplicable urge to laugh.
Think about everything. Do nothing.
Grey on grey with spots of green.
Squeaky chairs. My favourite pen.
His copy of the Communist Manifesto
purchased on Amazon prime.
What convenience, what value!
Repetition. The squeaky chair.
Is this supposed to make sense?
Drive home. Eat. Brush teeth.
Write about nothing in particular.
Count to ten. Tell myself I’m doing fine.
Between the lines
of now and then,
you’re drawing me
with ink and pen.
and every curve
you’re carving out
what I deserve.
and knotted hair,
of senseless care.
Between the breaths
of God and man-
You’re writing me
just as I am.
With fractured bones
and black-hole eyes,
ringed with lies.
All I am
is what you see
and what you make
is all I’ll be.
Your gnawing teeth
and clicking tongue,
your maze of veins
and sighing lungs.
A stretch of skin
like desert plains,
eyes like glass
with bluish stains.
I’m sallowed whole
by every blink
Your pupils pull
before they shrink.
From the ridges
of your spine
to the brows that
paint a stoic line.
Left hand, right hand-
The crescent cave
of crimson lips
I’ll build a home
in who you are
from pit of pore
to peak of scar.
I watch the world move around me
so fast it looks like a smudge of paint.
I wait for the world to sweep me up
and pull me into its current.
I watch from my window
as the sun runs laps around my life.
Rising and setting. Starting and concluding.
Slipping like sand between fingers.
I won’t fight the tide of time
I was born too old too fight it,
yet somehow still young enough to fear it.
Eighteen and already out of steam.
I feel the panic rise in my stomach
I breathe in and out
I count everything blue
I look at her speak but don’t hear the words
I swallow the lump in my throat
I suppress the urge to run
I hold one hand in the other to still them
I am here, I am safe, I am whole
I am here, I am safe, I am whole
But I’m none of these things, not really.
I want to live and not survive
I want my days to add up
I want to keep moments in jars like fireflies
I want security without constraint
I want freedom without fear
I want to be told what to do and not do it
I want the good, the bad and the ugly
Then, I want nothing at all
I want to jump off the Empire State Building
To be hanged, drawn and quartered
Then stitched back together again
I want to make this make sense
Then I want chaos to ensue
I want to grow old and die young
I want to be re-born. Re-birthed. Re-imagined.
Maybe then I’ll know what I want.
It’s that time of year again.
It always happens.
I jump from too much to too little.
I look for patterns where there are none.
I play hide and seek with God.
God always wins. I haven’t found him yet.
I must be looking in the wrong places
I must be running out again.
Running out of spirit.
Time for the big refill.
Time for the big stock up.
Time to stop dragging myself through life like a felt tip pen on its last legs.
Time to finish what I have abandoned
then time to abandon it again.
— The End —