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Why build a wall just to spit over it?
You think I cannot reach to return your phlegm...
Flinging arrows reach and then fall into empty space.
They land. Limp and lifeless.
My denial and best wishes pull the wind from your heavy sails-
My refusal to raise my aim stifles your empty screams...
You read.  You decipher.
Your lack of ammunition stalls you.
 Jul 2018 Dave Gledhill
she gave me her nudes
she was bare
and naked
and so out
and open
and i willingly
accepted it
because it wasnt the nudes
that showed her body
the physical aspects
that made her beautiful
it was the words
she didnt choose
and the spontaneity
that left her
either from her lips
or her fingers
or ink

she was as bare
as her nudes
and i accepted
her for her.
10:02 PM 5/1/2018
oh my god
that guy is so...
his arms like matchsticks
jaw threatening to pop through his bone-white skin
i bet if he took his shirt off
you could count every one of his ribs
i didn't even know they made skinny jeans that size
now what can i do
to look like him?

to what god can i sacrifice these lumpy, extraneous pieces of flesh
in return for a body that doesn't betray me?
to what doctor can i explain that, no
my chest is not enough
please cut out every piece of me that is
too much

i am tired of being soft
and easily broken
where are my hard angles and sharp lines?
i am sick of these handlebar hips and quivering thighs
i gazed into the mirror and nothing i saw was mine

i hear them say,
"i was so dysphoric
i didn't eat for three days"
and i think
what a good idea

at sixteen
i spent my gcse study leave curled over the toilet bowl
fingernails catching on the back of my throat
but i couldn't do it
i'm scared of throwing up
i don't know what's going to crawl its way out of my mouth
i'm scared to see what's rotting deep inside of me

sometimes my shame feels like a concrete slab around my neck
and sometimes like a boulder in the centre of my stomach

the woman in the exercise video says:
"we only have cake on birthdays"
so i ate a whole one and hated myself
the woman at the conference says:
"body positivity is knowing you don't need surgery to love yourself"
so i shook my way through a quiet panic attack at the back of the room
the woman on the end of the phone line says:
"this waiting list is 2 years long”
and there is nothing more i can do

there is so little i can change about my body
that is it any surprise
i dream of dotted lines on my skin
where the scalpel would fit just nicely?
and pasting
until i look just
 May 2017 Dave Gledhill
Average guy tried to kick the snake, so it bit him
He could feel the venom
A similar incentive

Unnecessary villain
Made necessary by
The collective litter
Turning sweet fruit bitter
always in the fog, the klaxon sounded,
announcing another round of shelling

Tuck was terrified, for he
thought this was a hound
from hell, and it was

telling London to head
to the underworld--dank cellars
or shelters built for survival,
or mass burial

depending on where Gerry's
bombs decided to land

the lasses knew well the drill:
grab their favorite doll and say a

Mum would grab Tuck--his shivering body
not soothed by her warm embrace

for when the hounds stopped their menacing moan
deeper doomed demons would begin their call;
the beast sensed this, and he had no god
to beg for salvation

he could only feel the rumbling of the ground
and not close his ears to the sound, which riveted
stakes through his bones
 May 2017 Dave Gledhill
Styles 12
My love levitates above me,
begins to circle out
  heading to the silent softness
tucked beyond perception.

I have packed you
  with Milky way hopes,
  witnessed the slashing
    of stars make their way

bright against the purplish night.

I have known you to slip out from
the hidden human crevice
to perform secret plays
   with oceanic aches
       surpassing all words

threading impossible rich
   grasslands in a desert
     of a million scornful suns.

I felt you harpoon me
  pulling me back to the immense
  place beyond the curtain
  verifying every hope that kept me crawling for just one taste.

I heard you speak me into shelter
  every promise of your verse
riveted my skylines with the most delicious eclipse I've ever seen.

Your love moved me to another hidden Everest where The Golden Angel sang to me with a voice that bleeds my haunting.

I felt you craft a crystal ship, your freedom set it sail inside me.
 May 2017 Dave Gledhill
I have been wrong
about many things
and wronged by
many men

I hope this time
I might be right
for once in
my quarter
of a life

and my world
will change
in the best
of ways
(c) sea
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