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Apr 2023 · 315
foxes
ju Apr 2023
of course they gather  -

she left them
a carcass every Sunday

lonely and alone -

she fed them
names with belly-fulls of bone

(of course they gather  -

she left them)
Oct 2022 · 346
Butterflies (rewrite)
ju Oct 2022
Our garden was spirals of green - Squeeze-through bean tunnels rigged with bee stings, skinny mud paths that grazed knees and bloodied hand-heels when it rained. The field was neat rows of gold - Wide tracks made-good with stone, sipped dry by birch and tall oak. Peacocks and emperors flickered, fritillary swooned to a stop on damp skin - Ragged commas were caught breaths in bramble and …I listened... to Old-Man-Brown - snoring and mythical, to the click-click of chopped veg, to kids playing, to men coming home.

I ran, scrambled the bank, grabbed hold of chain-link, crashed into the garden. I knelt by the pen, let dogs lick my hands, gave armfuls of long grass to rabbits. I danced between chickens, beeped back at quails and avoided wry-smiley ferrets. I made it back before Mum needed to yell, shouted out, swirled my limbs clean from the barrel - Excited because, in a couple of weeks it’d be teeming with coppery fish and I’d give them ant-eggs and worms. I shoved open the door, brushed past dead things. That’s what we did: Fed them until it was time.
Sep 2022 · 472
you
ju Sep 2022
you
I run to you
your rhythm, your beat

for a moment they're mine
and we breathe together,
breathe

I run to you
your hunger, your need

for a moment they're mine
and we cleave together,
cleave

I run to you
your sweet-wet, your greed

for a moment they're mine
and we feed together,
feed
Sep 2022 · 846
bang-bang
ju Sep 2022
white
black

blue

lifeline
noose
Mar 2022 · 233
again
ju Mar 2022
I am
drawn to the pictures

to
the new and the already-old

(to
the news and the already-told)


stories framed, set
rolling, rolling ...

maps and suits and flames -

and
the mother -

again
Mar 2022 · 142
bound
ju Mar 2022
bare feet on concrete
skin pressed pink to cold plaster

sun-needles through roof-gaps
fall on rain-rotted rafters

(root and vine)
soles and spine -

tie me here
Jul 2021 · 293
path
ju Jul 2021
lythrum leans in
curious, tall -
I have nothing to tell

nothing left

I take careful steps, mind loose-stones
don’t twist me up

fire-lidded

I am here, I breathe here

I bleed a weak, thorny tide

here
Jun 2021 · 301
Little black dress
ju Jun 2021
The air is cotton-tangle thick and
thoughts are heavy.

I unpick a hem of memory -

The quiet pip-pip of a broken stitch
gives way to raw.
May 2021 · 536
~
ju May 2021
~
He picks at the fray of her gaze
‘til she frowns. Sews shut her mouth

with too many questions.

We grow roots.

Sun shines hot through a tall window, and
she curls to me like vine.

We wind together, sway ‘til her small hands
whisper at the nape of my neck -

Finished, done.
May 2021 · 835
Changeling
ju May 2021
She loves you, she loves you not?

She loves you.

You learnt from somewhere, that tenderness -
that no-word smile.

You learnt from her.
You learnt from her.

Where is she now?

Missing from her own eyes, own hands.

You cling, you cry.

She loves you.
She loves you.

I will hold you 'til she’s found.
Apr 2021 · 663
Cry
ju Apr 2021
Cry
Tattered edge.

Hacked leylandii flicker
needle-teeth and sequins.

When foxes cry
I dream - my rag doll baby.

When foxes cry, I hold her tight -
pinch together seams.

Try to feed her. Bleed instead. Flood
her small, sharp mouth with red -

then watch the blood soak in.

When foxes cry, she screams.

When foxes cry
I dream - my rag doll baby.
Apr 2021 · 103
Shadow
ju Apr 2021
Lamps are placed apart. Space enough
for dark to seed between them -

an hourglass. Black sand filled to curves
of light spilled on grey tarmac.
Apr 2021 · 368
wishes & inkblots
ju Apr 2021
ladybird, ladybird

pen-push through

sternum

cry when I catch &
lie when I pin

them

fluid fills,
spills, stains

the page

fold

fly away, fly away, fly away

home
Mar 2021 · 129
tide pool
ju Mar 2021
the slow salt of her tongue licks deep the sandstone
that broke and bound her to shore
Mar 2021 · 317
time and tide
ju Mar 2021
Want

plays in the shallows
at my edge

I rewound her
she is girl again, unknowing -

she hungers, and I feed her crumbs
she swims, and I pull her back

I can’t have her grow strong -

not now
Mar 2021 · 234
Trade
ju Mar 2021
Cleave mind from neck.
Cut just above each joint - get rid
of feet and hands.
Slice clean,
hold tight and tear.

Swipe from skin -
prise apart and portion limbs.

Please share.
Mar 2021 · 237
Moving on
ju Mar 2021
Storms seldom reach into this tarmac dip - but I find my chairs broken, wrong-angled and awkward, on the grass-struggle lawn.

Sun hides. The day still dawns and I watch. Copper plays over rain-dark wall, licks the plastic idyll of neighbours’ houses.  

This house (moss-tile, rust brick) sits at the base of a hill - A full stop to their pale-clad, block-paved lines of must try harder.

I don’t attempt to keep up. The drive boasts a warm rainbow of stone, a zig-zag flourish of green sprung with yellow -

A dormant hive. Project pieces. Puzzle bits strewn. My what-if imagination stung gold - Summer-soaked moments yet to fly.

Bad luck fills a brass horseshoe and the world sulks ill at ease - *****, unwelcome - between plimsolls and boots by the door.

They used to ask about the shoes. Now, as light pours over the sanctuary bell, I laugh at the ghost of their honey-glass question.
Mar 2021 · 338
Edge
ju Mar 2021
We talk, and the cigarette burns in small moments of waiting. You move your finger from my vest strap to my collarbone. My breath catches, slides into a warm pool of want. I slip my own finger in circles at its edge, and you take a step closer.
Feb 2021 · 184
Prelude
ju Feb 2021
I watch you spark up. A small frown grows deep, then disappears when you inhale. Whole moments pass, and you hold that new smoke in your lungs. You are shuttered, you are gone. I like that you return to me first. Even before your eyes are fully open you find me; warm and backlit through lids, a ghost through dark lashes.  

You reach for me, run a finger under my vest strap. I like that you switch the cigarette to your left hand and don’t seem to notice. The ember-glow dances and sways. Smoke spills up in a silver ribbon when you exhale.
Feb 2021 · 158
Closing time
ju Feb 2021
I’m in filthy jeans and vest, muddy boots tucked under a bar stool. I'm sun-sore across my shoulders and neck, with dirt-dust clung to me, all over. My hair’s graded real short because men like it long, and I’m so done with them. I wonder briefly, through this haze of hormones and *****, if maybe there's a woman for me. I’ve stayed too late. Workwear’s gone home, showered, got changed. I’m alone. I’m the wrecked remains of Monday-through-Friday in this sparkling sea. I ache. I really ache. I should leave, but you buy me one more drink and I stay.
Feb 2021 · 195
Watching the barman smoke
ju Feb 2021
Lips and fingers, shuttered glance -
click, quick lick extinguished.

(I’m sure it’s wrong to view this as impending beauty)

He turns - avoids tide-salt breeze made
fast by alleyway and dark.

Again - click, quick lick. Hand’s a shield,
spark’s hidden, can still feel it.

(Behind closed-door words fly; heard and unheard)

We're here, lost and found inside his ritual.
Feb 2021 · 250
forgive
ju Feb 2021
a quick shrug, ***** my shoulders - anger rolls to floor.
I wade through it - bear love and hope a little higher over its tides.
Feb 2021 · 368
Shy
ju Feb 2021
Shy
I got the gist of men when I was little.

A shopkeeper spoke to Mum.

I used my pleases and thank-yous,
he filled my hands with free sweets.

I looked at the floor.

Mum insisted I smile, so I did -
I met his eye through my fringe.

She’ll be trouble.

He spoke to Mum, and looked at me.
Feb 2021 · 278
voucher
ju Feb 2021
I give him my heart, I say take it -
press the paper to his palm.

I fold his fingers shut around it -
pray this year he spends it well.
Feb 2021 · 503
Outline
ju Feb 2021
Fist-tight, it casts a shadow on pure white card -
I draw around it with a fine-black, cut it with a curved ten-blade.

The shadow-heart’s a gift. I keep the stencil.
Feb 2021 · 113
Tread
ju Feb 2021
I’ll slip my shoes off,
love you quietly.

Take baby steps, and
place cold soles

With care enough to
avoid the sharps.
ju Feb 2021
Yes, of course.

Those were the words I found in me.

In a space filled with women, it was a chorus of memory -
and I didn’t spill so much as drip those words to floor.

Yes, of course.

I inhaled alone, then exhaled the room.

In a pause filled with men, it was a shy breath of honesty -
a fortunate few breathed in and out by themselves.

Yes, of course.
Yes, of course.

Has anyone here experienced **** or ****** assault?

Yes, of course.
Jan 2021 · 259
Love -
ju Jan 2021
Why do you stay? That question chokes me. I hook a finger past lips, over teeth
-  scoop it free. It dies, loose and blue-breech on my tongue.

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t ask you. I fold legs to torso, wrap arms around them
-  tuck and tie. Make the question small, tight - then swallow.
Jan 2021 · 225
high tide
ju Jan 2021
loneliness flows from the centre of me,
in waves unmet by wall.
cut-lines
Jan 2021 · 416
angels?
ju Jan 2021
no. wings don’t grow from scars - and
small hearts lean in for warmth, not love.
cut lines
Jan 2021 · 163
gutters and pine
ju Jan 2021
A shade hidden in rain-puddle-oil and January dust,
too dark for love. But please, slip fingers between
my clothes and my skin, press. Press in and whisper.
Whisper spells to quell the bloom of old ghosts and
sting of raw nerves.
Jan 2021 · 179
Inside
ju Jan 2021
Outside - reflection on dark,
but I am adrift in lamplit reality
with nothing to say.
writersblock
Jan 2021 · 197
take
ju Jan 2021
refill your cup from mine,
move my food to your plate -
I can’t eat alone.

don’t go.

(take)
Jan 2021 · 125
Silhouette
ju Jan 2021
TW - domestic abuse  


If I had discovered you, Silhouette, told the world to you, cast a spell
to flatten the curve of you - could you have stayed?

If I had stopped hateful hands moving from heavy ******* over new
roundness to naive-wet - could I have run with you?

If I had pushed through their countdown, their grip and anesthesia -
clammed up, stood up - would they have let us get away?


I should have kept you - Silhouette - cocooned and safe.


He discovered you in a slow transformation I hadn’t felt - turned me
around to face him, like a naughty child.

I wondered the game we played. He slid hands up my vest, cupped my *******, drew fingers down the symmetry of my belly.

He laughed because I was wet, but I opened to him, I always did. I learned
about you, Silhouette, when he whispered you can’t keep it.
Jan 2021 · 283
Child
ju Jan 2021
Your bird-spine curves to the roof of my mouth, confetti-skull sticks to the back of my teeth. Your wet heart beats on my tongue, small lungs press in for sleep.

In silence, I carry you. In words, I carry you. I hear you breathe. Feel your dreams furl and unfurl, fern-like to term - and I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.

In pieces, I carry you. In love, I carry you. I feel shame. Not for letting you go - for letting it in. I know what happens to children like you, with fathers like him.
Jan 2021 · 660
counting
ju Jan 2021
last night her sleep was measured on steel,
****** down without a drop wasted.

we were spoons ‘til her limbs stilled -
tears spilled, found their way to my pillow.

I don’t know why I cry - if tears did help
she’d feel better by now.
Jan 2021 · 251
possessive
ju Jan 2021
I paint nails in a sin shade. nourish skin touched, touched, touched - cloud routine in amber and curve. leave smooth the fold where hid distrust. and I won’t stop, stop, stop - because the fold-promise made, the routine-perfume-sin, the nails, curves, skin - O Love - are not yours, yours, yours - they are mine.
Jan 2021 · 902
Night, how do you draw me?
ju Jan 2021
~

As I tidy, I organise time in little pill-pockets, sweep debris from sills and tables. I dice their cravings and fancies into some sort of meal, and wash nine hours of lines trod and toed from my clothes, ready for morning.  

These things make me feel needed, and I resent them as though they are chains. Do you draw me as selfish?

~

As I rest, I see my oldest cup with my keys; my coat and cleaned-boots left by the radiator gathering heat, and I wrap myself in a patchwork of dreams. I catch a wink - my favourite colours - beaded from the heartbreak-dark of a room.

These things make me feel loved, and I breathe them as though they are air.
Do you draw me as ungrateful?


~

As I watch, I turn my reflection this way, that way, pile ink-hair on her crown. I imagine my burgundy dress fall over her hips to the floor -  reveal to my mind the vanity of sheer-stockings and dark eyelash-lace on porcelain skin.    

These things make me feel beautiful, and I miss them as though they are dead.
Do you draw me as shallow?


~
Jan 2021 · 165
Time
ju Jan 2021
Outside, dark exists in vast swathes. Inside, lamps tell various truths from different angles: To my left is a life measured in chapters, to my right one measured in pills. I look to the window for answers - Instead all I see is an expanse of inky-black glass and rain shattered ghosts.
Jan 2021 · 618
Kiss
ju Jan 2021
What I want starts with an intake of shared air, a leaning-in.
My spine a star-gaze arch - a neat reflection of yours.

A mouth-to-mouth silence broken, made whole - by small language
born of not knowing, and of knowing too well.

I want to trace symmetry in your neck, your back: Learn the shape
and position of vertebrate, of the discs in between -

Infuse them with an energy to resist time, to resist
history’s repetitions.

I want my weighted thoughts to wash through the
base of my skull into your cradle-hand,

Want to hear the rush of them down your arm, their echo
through the in-and-out spaces of lungs.

I want them to pour fully formed from your feet to the floor
- through nerves un-frayed and strong.

Remember: It’s a want my Love, not a need.
What I need is you here.
Jan 2021 · 467
Love, you are...
ju Jan 2021
... the fizz of a Bakelite switch casting
out dark in a storm - a hot scented bath and
the warm-dry robe I wear after...
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