The dust hugged them. The storm whipped it up in their eyes – dust was where they were headed. The storm flossed it through one ear and out the other – dust was their playlist. There were three of them. They had names but that did not matter. They had genders but that did not matter. They were young but that did not help them.
Their parents were not there to hug them anymore. The oldest had a soulmate but she was gone too. Death was all that was left for them down south so they headed north. It was pointless; they were killed at the border.
Burning cotton wool cries;
a trapped spider
begging to be released.
One last look at the lamb
before it melts into nothing.
Meanwhile, a brittle halloumi mark
refuses to move, intensely
scrubs when the moist sink baths.
For love, she chooses to chew
the wiry meat that stopped being leaves
shiny ice burns
The big blue
buddy about to
wash away your
on him to
Love lies in gnarled
kneecaps starting to sleep
and causes cautious fingers to
Nothing else demands dry
throats to dance
(tap, clack, tap),
letting the lonely liver
sing to silent
It seduces sober eyes
into chirping for dainty
lungs. Love refreshes the heart;
a new radiator warming an old building.
An awkward silence swiftly swallows the joyful night.
A beer becomes awkward as I sigh,
when the group reveals she is coming soon and an awkward
awful chill leaves me laminated and useless. An awkward
finger fiddles on the table anticipating her arrival.
Her awkward smile a silent smack, turns her back and starts socialising.
An awkwardness award awarded to me for awkwardly sitting silently,
while her harpy’s beak causes a
cacophony by mingling with everyone else effortlessly.
An awkwardness which I wanted to wipe by
saying: “Sorry, it was long ago and what we said we didn’t mean, so
– and this is awkward –
can we let that go and start clean?” But how awkward
would that have been?
And my mouth is dry. And I cannot speak. So instead I awkwardly
sit silently; pretend to listen to the conversation she
dominates. I remember how our car broke down on our amazing
race, how we ran out of petrol and only insults remained.
I’m awkwardly snapped back to reality as
she jovially asks me a question.
It’s just small talk, but the table we’re sat around waits and listens
for an answer. So, accompanied by an awkward little laugh,
like a lifeless hyena, I answer. This might be a nice night after all.
Life lives in chapters and
my wet thumb has flicked
back a few pages.
I’m sat in Peter, the crimson car my
friend would drive me home from
college. Before uni. Before
Being away. Before being
home for Christmas.
I’m being brought back to
the S Club CD we would
rock out to each day.
It’s like my new bed in my new city
Welcome to Ben Before Them! I’m an aspiring writer, poor uni student and master of cliche. This is the space where I share my poems, stories and articles.