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Hungry Him

He disturbs the bed super-imposing crumpled sheets like a mistake left on a page, proof of impatience with a hunger for lead or an artist’s tongue to draw a line, on hips virile brackets to exist within he’ll pour himself to the brim, then paint heavenly frescos on your heavy eyelids that tell lies so beguiling like a dead man’s iris blooming a moon that rises like bone to break the skin of oblivious night and when you shout in thanks like a war-time surrender he’ll fill you up to drown you out

A Mother Introduces the Storm

Rain comes eliminating the sky with glass shards falling down to make heads bow melting my clothes into cold outlines limits of my skin exposed forcing me to exist and witness entranced like the first time wind-whipped waves double the rain bay flailing livid like a dying eel I brought us here to the shoreline that’s trying to recruit my son silt tugs at his toes while he giggles he knows how electricity smells in the air and it’s my fault his eyes will remember the inky tapestry his ears the orchestra his skin the salt his molecules the element and a rock pool grows bleeding navy inheritance into the next stumbling around my feet he raises bloated fists at the inaugural crack little tongue hanging like a petal waiting to taste the first drop of the storm

Bedside Surgeon (a Grindr poem)

Yours is a precision arm a reach which could make spines forget legs or left forget right tongue forget tongue your screen unlocked head bowed in prayer private and away your face a mask of orange neon with the expression forms a sign to ‘wait’ seconds before, we were one language of limbs, a conjoined creature now cut in two by your device a bedside surgeon and I’m still glazed by our fluids

All Our Syrian Boys Are Dying

Seeing you in a thousand boxes me in a thousand beds a thousand sparks crack four thousand limbs inside a thousand bone gloss-rooms I see them bounce you off the sky from ruins built to honour it a thousand head-first tears down a thousand sandstone cheeks I hear a thousand promises to a thousand gods a thousand bounties on a thousand heads cut from a thousand men I hear a thousand cracks of hearts a thousand pamphlets telling us we are alone I hear paper beats rock but machete beats paper

Water & Stone

The tide is trying to swallow the perimeter of the bathing pool. A sandstone crescent with rusted handrails three feet high reminding me of Roman ruins and how I imagine my mum’s cell to look. Being in prison has taken the ice out of her words, the wine from her breath. She writes to me every week, but I haven’t replied, afraid that I’ll fail again at playing my role as life-raft. Denial isn’t something I’ve ever been good at, ocean eyes betray my shallows. A final swell erases the blueprint of the bathing pool, leaving only the bars. Haloed feet bring me to the hem. In the wind I unravel. One thread to hold me here, one for each of my mothers and one to keep the poem running. Cobbles cast themselves at my feet, asking me to dance. A wave retreats, pulling gold ribbons across my feet. The water in me pinches for permission, waiting until a gunshot thunder and teardrops plough across the pink fields leaping to return home. My biology can’t help it. It wants to fall back into the deepest cup, that blue basin spilling over year by year. Honesty, then. Would I tell her the sea is still trying to adopt me? The territories of motherhood are cruel, as she knows. A boulder-roll of thunder sends a flock of seagulls screeching from the beach. And the waves keep coming, with pebbles hopping water-brained at my ankles. A choreography depicting the softening of stone. Small traumas begging for me to play.

Tectonic Trill

Hold your dulcets your salty pinch my opaline rage trills across to lick the walls set the paper a-smoulder smalt pop veins rills on my skin & napalm sacks bob inside my argent cage like the bouncing heads of kings each strand on my crown a wick for your assassin’s kiss fumes of petrol sylphs march through my flaring holes a beryl statue sizzling luminol chlorine lithium shades blaze to jet envy me flaming bird oil-slick lids unyielding each tear a flicker to flick may mine set your fire alight {First exhibited in the Hilbert Raum, Berlin alongside Maurizio Bongiovanni}

Church

Wall to mantel the choirs of statues blaze, but no virgin’s glare could annul our sermon. Blow argent smoke from your mouth, a pink and porcelain censer. Grey curls bloom in amber light from the streetlamp, ghost lilies in our urban Eden. A drop gives in and plays lead on the glass stained by our breath. Newborn, my arms hang from your shoulders, ankles crossed with yours. Your chin prickles my forehead. We are a carnal crucifix. Blood-rust rings from my glass brand a triquetra on your stomach: still tense. Five disciples stroke my scalp, run through the sweat-knot scourge. My knees weep on the ivory-white sheet from my last pillow-less confession. Silent in your possession, an echoing hymn of exhalation. Your communion is a spatter on the mattress, already soaked in. Cool constellations on my calf. Here in our sanctuary, there’s a murmuring crusade, their huffing organs a dirge to grind against. A few muted thuds from upstairs. Our voyeur above enjoyed the show. {First published in December 2016 by Fincham Press in the 'Purple Lights' anthology}

Deep End

Concern yourself with where to simmer in broken water is where you choose bladderwrack skin nap shiver of fishbones choking pipes driftwood candles a blown out wish for deep end reek & acoustics that ring out to explain away the storm-wrung bath detritus {First published December 2020 by Verse Zine}

Rose Jam

With knees foam-sheathed she pins the brown soil unwilling body of earth until sundown it’s hers the grandmother, mother, widow whisperer to the world beneath her, families of spiders scurry and ants dance for the priestess snipping carmine planets from their sky that hit the surface exploded petals crushed between her sandalled toes rose jam boiling in the air she continues her ruthless work for thankless generations

When Skin Won't Sleep

When Skin Won't Sleep

A Bird, a Boyfriend

in featherless flight you left a brood of windows blind to beg for faces as lubricious surfaces do in glassy grief
they squeeze my room made brick balloon & without a bribe I feel a burst
might come soon