It’s important to have a little perspective

The Dreamer

It was a Friday,

I hesitated in the hazy pulse of bodies

As she walked over wearing her Christmas jumper in June

Took my hand and told me

‘You’ve got to be kidding’

I am distracted, utterly.

I placed footprint in delicate footprint

Chasing her across sweaty floorboards,

Under stripper lights.

Her, ‘Take us anywhere’

Me, breathless.

 

The taxi pulled away and we let God catch us

As our bodies tangled… then fiercely repelled

Pushing my bones further into the door

Into my own insanity.

Outside stops blurring and the lights pause in my window

I turn and she’s in front of me.

She drops £10 in excited hands

Keep your coins, I want change.

Her feet fall on puddles. Broken mirrors.

My feet fall on puddles. Mirrored. Broken.

 

Fear breeds lust as lust in return breeds fear

And with this fear I follow

As if nothing could turn my body from hers.

She’s playing a game now

A chase.

I am ever the more tempted

Not by the lust

By the fear.

 

I place each of her fingers

Delicate between mine

Each bone pressed hard, tracing the lines of my palm

Her resistance is mere shivers on my friendless flesh.

Blood, pulse, shaking.

We wander into whatever warm light that takes us

And take whatever drink is given.

Tea sits feeble between our monstrous bodies

I could crush it with my finger,

Press my fist slightly on the thin rim of paper cup

Balance knuckle to dip the plastic casing

And force cascade

Waterfall.

She’s standing and walking

And I am day-drunk, dreaming.

Tea spoilt,

So close to death and now so alone

So, I guess, even closer.

 

The Realist

I wake up,

Pushing the grease further into my hair,

Yesterday’s problems cling to the damp ends.

The cleanest jumper stretches across my body, repulsed.

Jingle bells

My phone shivers, a bar round the corner.

The one with liquid walls and solid drinks

Where the chairs cling to your thighs

And the men cling to your waist.

And your body is painted by a thousand eyes

Walking in I grab his hand and we leave through greasy doors.

 

A taxi takes our bodies in, refugees

Again he tries to have me

He has forgotten his own hopelessness.

His motionless frame fits perfectly into the leather

And I am once again reminded of his fragility

His simple, wounded body and mind

I help him out the door, his hands quiver under mine

I take his weight and we are free in open air

He looks distant

As always.

 

His pupils dilate further and he is lost from me again.

Like a mother I take his hand,

And he dribbles on my sleeve.

And I tell him we’re getting tea,

And he mumbles.

But he’s somewhere else

In another world.

Entirely.

 

He plays with my palm childishly

His innocent petal fingers, breakable.

His eyes mist like steamed glass

Body folding inwards,

Mind folding outwards.

Feeding him tea we sit lonely

Fingers too hard on my skin.

Nails trying to break and dent my flesh,

I pull his hand away sharp.

He doesn’t understand,

And he looks upset now.

It is impossible not to protect him

When I am everything he has

And without me he would be sitting feeble in a hospital bed,

Scientist’s plastic stool,

Therapist’s armchair,

Asylum floor,

Undug grave.

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