the kitchen is hot today
wet with sunlight blood heavy slippery and yellow
outside, flies are
driven mad with heat they circle like they did in Jericho
light hits the car’s roof
blurs like swept up chalk and hisses muttering a febrile rosary
today it made me laugh
to think you once said to me poor baby there’s no living in poetry
An hour into Scarface
(for the fifteenth time) the power cuts and the sloping Bolivian hills snap into darkness.
The silence thrills us;
it hits like a car crash. We slowly clank into action.
You use your phone light to find the fuse box –
Who owns a torch these days? I light a candle: the one in the burnt yellow glass and look out the window at the street in pitch.
I imagine our neighbours in the dark
arms outstretched, like swimmers, reaching for lighters and batteries – whatever glimmers.
I wonder about kids crying,
dinners spoiled, and hands feeling in the dark.
After a while, still nothing:
no spark. We step outside.
The night is balmy –
the bricks hold the heat of the day and it floods back into the house.
I fetch beers from the warm fridge.
The bulb is out so I feel for the tins: I know where they are and grab a few.
Outside you’re looking up
and I at you.
whenever she’d get bad
my mammy would say baby we come into this world alone we go out of this world alone
how funny it was
that she chose the word we –
all of us, suffering together, knowing the same low down, gutter-licking, earth-swallowing, blackout blues
misery en masse
the tragedy not in feeling it
but in feeling it alone and not realising how we aren’t
Look up directly at the sky:
see how quickly it has turned white as a blanched almond.
Notice how the yellow sunlight
has slipped into the ground where we were just walking.
Now stop talking.
That way, you can really hear
the bristling shush of dried ferns; they sound so like the sea.
Sink into the sound of this.
Let your breathing bow to the wind as its veil billows before us.
Now insects join the chorus.
They might be flecks of dust haloed
in gold, stung by the sun: stitching a map across the day.
Trace their idle threads of flight
and sink into the upturned palm of earth. Feel yourself breathe out, at last –
but hold still with me
until the moment’s passed.
Here I am
Here I’m stood I’m in this house I’m in this wood
I waited here
As best I could Inside in this house Inside in this wood
You will not come
You said you would I’m in this house I’m in this wood
And now it’s wrong
It can’t be good Here in this house Here in this wood
sometimes it feels stuck to the back of my chest
as if it has caught one of its many blue threads on the door handle of a room I’ve just left
sometimes it feels still, and lurks like a mad ghost
cursing its haunt in the long well of my throat as I am trying to speak gently to it
sometimes it feels hard. It tightens with each thump
and one day I will not be able to wriggle even my littlest finger inside it
a red knot
I can’t unpick
Today I paid attention
to the flowers to the eyelid thinness of a petal I tried not to feel sad They sing their colours in a whisper yellow and blue and blue and blue I tried not to feel sad I won’t look tomorrow they might change their colours grow crisp and dull withered as hours but today I paid attention to some flowers
it’s one of those nights
when we decide to give in and sack off the cleanse – two friends with enough rum to feel sore tomorrow
you’ve still got paint on
from where you’ve touched your forehead and cheek – it’s midweek it cracks when you laugh and drink
I remember you as you were
when we’d stay up smoking wiping a CD on your jeans – just fifteen we’d talk about where we’d go together
doesn’t tonight feel almost like those
and still not quite the same as before when we’d sit, sentries of dawn – and yawn sleeping long past the birds and the sun
I ask if it’ll ever be like it was
when we were kids, and you smile and don’t say a lot – probably not then we laugh and we don’t know why
and now it’s one of those nights
when we sit and remember and pretend we’re not blue – it’ll do but I’ll never forget being young with you
in a lukewarm bath
with you perched on the side I watched as you scraped pink curls off the soap before you told me you needed a walk and left but before I heard the latch I heard your voice on the phone and I wondered if absent mindedly biting your nails later that night you would taste that soap or if someone else might
when you had that
big work do thing the one where you couldn’t bring anyone because it would be weird I sent you a photo when I was a bit drunk just for you just of me on the sofa with the cat and later on that night as we finished the rum you had half inched from the bar I asked you why you didn’t respond to my messages and you stroked my legs propped up on your legs and you finished the rest of your drink off
don’t be weird