I have great desire. My desire is great.
Paint, peeling in salty sunshine, skin chewed from fingerends. A flaking incantation, each letter cloud high, each word catching the breath, throwing it in the scraggy fashion of gulls chasing chip paper.
Feet score up and down up and down steps from the promenade to beach to promenade for the best view of sea its horizon and who is beyond it, who is sometimes nearing sometimes far away and blurring from memory.
Someone else has done this (painted it up there on brick) and someone before them; and someone after today will bridle again, and another, again. Each of us hanging by our own tongue.
On the wall
I have been trailing you across city trying to see you at work above doors, tunnelled walk ways
in white galleries they make me stand back away intimidate me with entirety, long to lean in lick the whips of paint
but you I shadow like a dial following sun pressing my palm against single bricks you leave warm with your name
Under the shadow of breath, exhaust and air conditioning, these bricks will crumble back to clay.
My fingers are splintered with fishbones
sunk in the cement of the old fishmonger’s.
Palms heel unevenly against sawn-off railings.
The walls of this city shape-shift
like the corridors of the dismantled infirmary
would have once danced for its residents.
We’re all scattered to the streets, chasing dreams
as though they are Arctic Foxes
slinking in the white space caught in glass.
Two Thousand and Nine
1895 in sandstone over the door
like a tick buried in the skin
it is not so very long ago, after all
these doors can pass a 6ft man, no timber
over-head, all walls are level-straight
to share 6 rooms, 7 windows
(how many bricks?)
creaks on the stair, bubbles in the glass
familiar to someone else. I tell you this.
You think me afraid of shadows, afraid of stories
that can’t be told, think it an excuse
to leave these piled-four-walls
Outside I look up at the date
days and rain rubbing away,
put my ear against the stone
cheek to cold, mouth to grit
– whispers are growing faint.
Kiss this Cross
Wait. I need to lace my heart,
raise my eyes above this ruckus.
He’s tall enough to tipsy me over.
It’s bleeding, like the real cross.
Don’t shove. Look. It cracks.
Or writhes. Are those woodlice?
No. It’s glued to his fingers. Shhh.
Oh. A polished promise.
What? What did you say?
Why do you hold yourself like that?
She has no dignity.
She stalks him like a cat.
I hear its wooden rosary
rattling in my throat.
My thighs chafe. My charm rubs
in the pocket of my fox fur coat.
I am crucified, plug my palm.
I’m ready, and cannot wait.
You’ll have to, like the rest of us.
If you’re overheating, stand in the shade.
It is hot. How everyone glows.
Did she just lick her lips?
By the time I get there
it’ll be swollen with your spit.
Hold yourself upright tilt your head to one side look at me with your short-sight eye focus and I will bring my face towards yours leaning the other way so our necks make one perfect cross, our kiss: a screw fastened off centre lips catch like odd grains shedding splinters we don’t come apart, wait –wait and I will come away look at you with my long-sight eye holding the level out like a rung –balance it, balance it