the belt of Venus

where the midnight sun
lingers at the peak
in a northern place;
a quiet space
to let the world
pass over.

the pylons stand like
dryads in the snow,
the wires of fate
strung them together.
herds of creatures left
behind clusters of prints.

remaining patches grazed
down to the ice, the
soil frozen in time to
provide an ice-bound
grave for stiff worms
where their bodies dissolve.

winding backroads, a
graveyard of trees
where their brothers
burn and smoke blankets
the auburn sky — but
not for the last time.

more slow than love

the rattle of death
from the depths of
my lungs, like a
marble statue of
Aphrodite. my
body squirms as
a worm does in the
soil during a storm.

don’t worry about it,
a mouth breathes
against the exposure
of a throat. skin is
peeling from my
fingers — the cycle
continues until your
touch no longer clings.

must be, i look so
small in the river
as scarlet drifts up
from my bare feet.
music floats from old
speakers to shudder
the atoms left behind
from a friend’s touch.

daydreaming my regrets

we miss being alive
like lovesick teenagers
doing acrobats in the
stars, drooping eyes
from a bedroom window.

a special sort of
tenderness, and simple
human kindness made
us fall in love every
Monday morning.

we peeked through
the park bushes to
the graveyard, wishing
that we could sleep
eternally too —

the jealousy ate us
whole, living halfway
on Venus and at
home in the darkness
we weren’t so alone.

we’re watching the end

you could ask me; how
it felt laying in a
field with shrapnel
in my lungs with that
metallic source of life
on my tongue.

i would say it felt
like screaming in
a room where the living
ignored my cries. i’m
black-eyed with
lead in my veins,

and we picked up
a paintbrush for the
next vase of flowers.
my atoms are scattered
across a boy’s bed with
my chopped locks of hair.

i’m somewhere else as
our ships collide in the
waking nightmare
at two in the afternoon.
another odyssey for a
lonesome page, i suppose.

haggard and yearning

listen —
to the breathing,
it’s asphyxiating
to be held by
you.

floating in a room
flooded with salt
water, the air
shrinks.

muscles twitch to
a beat, it’s painful
and cold outside.
now,

it’s more inviting
to shy away,
crumbling like
a Tudor castle.

my teeth are
grinding as i
dream, and
you hold my hand.

listen —
inside, i’m sick
and smiling and
reeling from you.

stop telling them this

a fairytale isn’t about those
white thigh-highs anymore,
pouring tea for a rabbit or
swapping limbs for that
feeling of normality and
acceptance.

we’re hoping to get the
next meal or medication
for under a tenner.
hoping for the serotonin
that cures natural bruising
beneath our eyes.
we only want that next
high of a smile, chasing
the end down an
autumn-burnt pathway.
the windows are down
to let the fire in, because
maybe the Queen’s face
will save me.

is that murder?

no scrubbing could soften
nor clean my soul: like rust
on the mirror. stained
reflections that only speak
the same words i could never
utter;

i love you
ᴉ ɥɐʇǝ ʎon

everything i say,
i don’t want to feel
anymore. the darkness
cascades into my heart
like shared water
down a drain.
it’s a struggle we share
but never experienced
on a water’s reflection,
we’re just children in
ghost sheets now.

volume control

sometimes, opening my mouth
is like my fingers itching
on the volume control in my
car. the finger slips, and
suddenly, i’m shouting.
a resounding hush from
family, and the flush of
heat scalds my guts.
i apologise, but after the
enduring silence for years,
i only wish to be heard.
it is a bitter compliance of
volume control – but yet again –
like a child, i am to be seen
and not to be heard.