Small and naked tormentor with barbs
of vague and undisclosed ideas
that, unlodged, send the guts sprawling out;
fire shot after shot into my head
Bang bang bang and I can never move.
This time I was just trying to read.
The flight was close range. I had no chance.
In the bookshop café you leant out
from behind a fake pot plant and fired.
Her eyes caught mine for a bright moment
I couldn’t breathe I thought this was it.
then the poison hit. I couldn’t stand.
A shiver of lacks that drained inwards –
stalling, the child burns and falls seaward.
Lessons learned and unlearned, still I dream
of the conversation of bodies.
Still, in her blue eyes I sat and shook
and found some half-lost moment of peace
How it was that Cupid arranged this
I do not know. That little fucker.
But you know when you wear a jumper
you only wear to bed, and feel it –
the softness of all mornings hanging
there in the cathedral of your sleep.
You feel it brushing against your mind
the way that dry grass blows in sunlight
on the warm hillside, silent morning
over the city? Well quelle surprise
Cupid weaponised it and bullseye –
I was on the bus, tired from walking
I was barely thinking, distracted
by a handful of small cares and time
that had nothing in it. What a shot.
Ricocheting out the café door,
it blew my mind out my eyes. I stared
as this woman sat there in that light.
She was eating green soup, and talking
on the phone. And I’m damned to suffer
yet again this fear that I’m a creep.
The bus stopped there for moment and
the world froze. I watched her spoon moving.
I felt at peace, with my brains dripping
off the stop buttons and commuters.
My day was ruined. Goddamn Cupid.
The bus moved, time resumed. I slumped down.
Slipping through like a needle through silk
comes cupid’s static shock of a bolt
except the silk is me, and this slip
is only the beginning. My heart
is the target, and this tracer shot
soon followed by a sly and silent
shockwave that strips all trees of their leaves.
And the silence isn’t lasting – once
hit I can’t hear but for this ringing.
BOOM. I look over to see cupid
smirking slightly, his manic eyes wide
and stunned at what he has dared to do.
Then I look down at my blackened heart
steaming on the floor, pumping its last.
I go to pick it up, try to force
it back in my chest. But my hand meets
a hand. My stomach drops out now, too
and I start sobbing as I look up
“God damn it cupid, ugh f*** I don’t
believe this not again already…”
But it’s too late. Her eyes are soldered
into my brain before I can gasp
or change where I’m looking. My limbs shake.
Oh – she says – I thought I’d just help you
pick this up. I try to form a smile
but instead collapse into a heap.
Oh of course. You don’t know what you’ve done