Cupid

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, you 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.

In Which Things Move

The wind moves in the future
with soft wings – it brushes the leaves
hanging in the air with the trees

The clouds change:
a gradient of grey to blue-black
– and we too, walking beneath.

Our mouths open to let breath leave
while the red of your nails scatters
on the walls

The words spoken move
through the past, and your smile
leaves your face to land on my head

Three days later
it’s still there, folding and unfolding
like a butterfly, warming in the sun

Nuptial Flight

We talked for a while and then
I breathed you in, by accident
and like an insect you got lodged
in my throat – I had to swallow
repeatedly to even take stock
of the situation – how your oil
black hair was limp in the heat
and its one colour rainbow sheen
of sun coated me with a sweat.
I digested your little carapace
and now I twitch like a dry
and dying wasp in the porch…
Frankly, my dear, I would most love
to sting you but I am waxy –
look what you’ve brought us to
with your callow disregard
of how you fill the air, and land
in droves on my shirt – cracked
and uneven paving stones are no
solace – get off me, get off, get off.

The Deli

As we stand and talk about bread
The various types
That the days conditions left,
Under the light

Of the sun which peels the day
Just like the last
segments of warm clementine
And swallows the rest

The materiality of you rises
With force to greet me
Through your mouth and other pieces
Petal-blue unblinking

I feel your embrace already.
Its a nascent form
Of seers insight to a body
Sensing the dirt

My mind’s soft worm burrows in
Feeling our heat
In this brown paper bag, and then
I take short steps out

Playing Final Fantasy on a Friday Evening

Phoenix down for my life, search
Ether for my poems, steal
A princess but with summons
And random battles of dark
anxiety which can be
Big Bad dark on such a day
Press a, press a, contemplate;

The black mage on the sofa speaks
little, but softly speaks
of great problems, loneliness
of creation, how meeting
your creator is not wise
how harshly the mist machines
just disappoint and grow dark

But there is such light here, in
Aeris, in life’s crisp power
which always courses, pulses
deep in the planet, guiding
all, and that is not to call
attention to its steward:
Nobuo Uematsu

The bombing mission plays on
each morning bears new twists, raids
elaborate stories and
weirdly wide range of monsters
as here, so it is in there;
little explanation, but
just wait, worth levels upwards.

Parent/Guardian

When the parent cries – don’t
leave us – to the child – calls
to life’s dull ear, a pure
burst or depth of feeling
pours, tears and distances
And when the parent speaks

from hope in a moment
when all hope just popped off
the map like a rusty
paperclip – leaving us
with a torn old damp map
and the coming storm dusk

When the child lies wounded
and they have stepped in – now
aware or not, they give
help as if it were breath
at the end of all things –
when they build love again

from broken pieces – when
the glass was so shattered
it seemed impossible
– they build a cracked mirror
which is just good enough
and we see ourselves smile

And when the parent says
I can’t carry it for
you – but I can carry
you – up death’s dusty slopes
at the end of all time
I can stand here and know

You who brought us here – you
who spend each moment with
the careful thrift of love
You who listen, who stand
who let us go; your world
sings in soft new bindings.

Lock & Key

In the jangled clouds and beams of april
We walked the inhuman boulevards of Paris
We stood on the île and, pestered slyly
We reluctantly left a lock, engraved
With our names. We shouldn’t have.

When arguments began to stick and curdle
When our insults began their moth-flutters in the air
We tried our best to break up, it was no use
We would fight in the night, rot in our sourness and split
Only to wake again in bed, covered in rust.

Something was obviously wrong, the rust stung
Left sores where it touched, got in our crevices
So we first disliked each other more and more
Til pain, pain was the everyday way of things
And the friction so great we ground each other to stubs.

Snapping off one day I managed to run, return to the city
Again I saw the Seine and heard its whispers
I approximated the key’s trajectory, looked:
The water boiled and surged in whirlpool boils
Nothing. I saw nothing but the dirt-flow

But then, sudden, surfacing from a deep sound
It came: whale mass of iron, clumps of lock-keys
Heralding an orange trellis of rustwater currents
The lock-demon, the million locks key-keeper swam
A trembling mass of promise from the murk.

I gazed, terrified, amazed at this dark mound
Of keys. Its breath shook the waters, it rose
And groaned like the under-guts of Paris
Numbered on seismographs as an underground train
I realised then we had made a terrible mistake.