In What With Who?

There he stands, words so simple and clever.
Failed smart shark or pretty pathetic pig
declaring ‘we’re all in this together’.

Powerless people protect each other;
the phrase’s first impression. The big
community, words so simple and clever.

She’s poor, pays rent, a roof for her daughter.
Expectations of a tree on a twig.
Helpless but ‘we’re all in this together’.

She takes trips to the benefits centre –
condemned for taking drops from an oil rig.
They’re twisted, words so simple and clever.

She voted for him, thought he’d deliver
for her family, but now money digs
debt deeper. ‘We’re all in this together’.

His number is ten; a tiny tower,
his life lovely. Lying lion or sick pig?
There he stands, so simple and clever,
declaring ‘we’re all in this together’.

Cotton Wool

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
yesterday.
the guilt;
shiny ice burns
becoming wool.

Gnarled Kneecaps

Love lies in gnarled
kneecaps starting to sleep
and causes cautious fingers to
wobble.
Nothing else demands dry
throats to dance
(tap, clack, tap),
letting the lonely liver
sing to silent
company.
It seduces sober eyes
into chirping for dainty
lungs. Love refreshes the heart;
a new radiator warming an old building.

Awkward Assumptions

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.

Nostalgia

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

never existed.