Sunkissed

The smallest cluster

Of brown black

In an uneven smudge

At the left of my knee

Down a little

This marking

Etched into my skin

Could create a cloud

Of fog across my body

And make me sick

And it makes me sick

To see you sit

In that selfish sun

To burn and blister

That perfect body

To let your flesh turn

White to pink

And then to coffee stain

Whilst I lay here

Out of sight

To protect my already

Collapsing frame

Preserve some skin left

Not yet stretched

To fill the holes

As you stretch

Your ‘perfect tan’

Across sun lounger

And in every photo

You look good

With that bronze haze

And everyone stares at you

And say ‘You’re glowing’

And I look up

To watch the backs of their heads

Monday

Another sun

Or maybe the same

Wakes us early

And forces us to change

Again

But remain very much the same

And hustle into another car

Which gives good news

Exciting scary news.

 

Us three

Walk down past ruined castles

And beaches

And talk about each other

And laugh about each other

And queue for something

Very much worth queuing for.

 

Home again

To spend

Another never-ending night

Talking about

How amazing it has been

And I think

How strange it is

That your thoughts are mine

And I cannot wait to wake up

Tomorrow (and for many more tomorrows)

In a good mood

‘I think it might be your fault’

Sunday

Another morning is ours

And waiting

When we open our eyes

To sweat and sun

And cover ourselves in more

Or less

Cloth

And meet him

Who I haven’t seen in a while

And miss.

 

In the car we gallop

Down motorways

And get caught in a storm

Of people

And when we land on the beach

We seek shelter

To eat our sand sprayed

Sandwiches

And listen to poetry

That I haven’t written

But wish I had.

 

At home we waste hours

Eating, drinking

Listening to me talk

And listening to him listen

A soft hum and nod

And then decide

To take the night

And watch other’s laugh

Upon borrowed bikes.

 

And it feels so good

To have him

And to let him have me

Because I have never met myself

Or seen myself so closely

And he’s making me love her

And telling her

‘You’re not the only one’

But meaning something other

To what ‘he’ has said before.

 

Saturday

Hungover mornings

On their balcony

Smoked salmon

Bitter on my tongue

Melting with the aftertaste

Of martini

But soothing too

And friendlier.

 

We walked to the dene

And bent down to speak

To lower creatures

Who melt me

And her

And then to spend our last few coins

On ice that’ll melt too

When licking at our tongues.

 

And then it’s into a busy street

To buy disposable things

Plastic time

And plastic love

In the heat

And through pathways

That sound like Fleetwood Mac

And drawn out summer days.

 

And home now to enjoy

The freeze of tap water

On my bare legs

We drink rose to soften

And numb our limbs

And push and rock our bodies

Into corners

Of our round heaven.

 

It’s 7 o’ clock

And we’ve forgotten the time

So hurry into clothes

And onto metros

And drag our half-drunk minds

To meet sober ones

Who remind me of older times

Before him

Horrible times.

 

We skip home

Me speaking nonsense

And him

As always

Catching each word

And cherishing it

And telling me

‘You’re drunk’

As if he isn’t too.

 

I trace the mountain tops

I trace the mountain tops

with my eyes

and now my pencil too

scratching, outlining the tip

I dip and duck into creases

I shade and shadow

shallow edges

and dark ridges

black and white

I use my fingers now

letting them walk

across cliff face

and jump down

so I have to bend knuckle

to reach back up

to sharper edges

that cut my skin

as I graze the points

and then my hand

falls downwards

as I reach the end of the cliff

and I dip

cold

into icy waters

More sunburn

My velvet bruise

turns crimson

in the salty sun’s

summer stain

and my body crumbles

because it is used

to kinder temperatures

when the sky isn’t so cruel

and does not try to infect

my freckled

speckled skin

and make me ash

buttered up

and battered

 

Autumn

I watch quietly as the fields turn from green to gold whilst the corn feeds on our shared air and the earth continues, ignorant to its own incredible normality. I pick a blade of grass and split it with my nail, and then again until I’m holding tiny slivers of emerald in my hand and the weight is almost insignificant. The wind forces the dusty green in my palm to scatter and I am thinking of a time before now when she and I would lay upon this very earth and discuss our passions as if we were selling ourselves to one another.

I wake up dead

I’ll set the scene. Painted bricks, yellow. All four walls. The carpet stained, on purpose maybe. ART. A waiter whose name escapes my memory but I remember laughing at. He was quiet. Insecure. He made me feel zero. I was dressed, a child. I had woken up and thought, I feel innocent. So I chose my naivest clothes and pulled them over my monstrous body. A walking oxymoron. She walked in. An hour late – perfectly on time. And I hovered over my seat in my dungarees. She walked past and ordered a mocha. And a scone. My eyes burnt in the light of her yellow dress. Matching the walls she stands camouflaged. She ignores me like every day. The perfect summer morning to my perfect summer love.

I wake up dead,

Eyes shut, wide open.

Breathing steady, stopped.