The question

There was an invisible
line I crossed
somewhere back there
where this game
became real, the stakes
ratcheted up, forfeit no
different to all-in loss.
I crossed that line because
I didn’t know it existed
wouldn’t have believed if I’d known
thought always you can
turn back. You can’t.
I bet my life
didn’t know I had
and lost
didn’t know you could lose,
didn’t know I had lost until
much, much later.
No excuses. Time to pay up.
Disbelief. Anger. Bargaining.
Life wasn’t supposed to be like this.
But who said? It was
always more serious
than I wanted to believe.
Yes. You can lose.
Yes. It can cost you everything.
A bit of fun. I was a
drug-runner’s mule, smuggling
love and hope and free-hearted
love-making into a country where
all of these things carry the death
penalty. A country of trauma
victims and narcissists, sociopaths
and cynics. They’ll take you in
with a smile. Oh, your heart? How
pretty. Thank you, it’s adorable.
You shouldn’t have. Your life belongs to me?
Well, I’ll take you up
on that, don’t mind if I do.
Well, no, sorry, but I mean it:
really; here’s the knife; sorry
but I do insist. You promised.
Your life.
If only I’d known,
that first needle;
chasing a butterfly across
that line. Nothing so pretty
could be anything but innocent,
surely? Or lead me anywhere bad?
And the stories,
the fucking stories. Love
melted the hardest heart. No
sorry, the hardest heart took
that angel and fucked it
up the arse, and was
already bored by the time
the broken pieces of
that cherub slit its own
wrists. Was already annoyed at
the mess, and forgot about
it while picking out a jacket
for tonight’s party before
the blood was dry.
Love is the answer and
the question is, what is the
stupidest thing people will
do of their own free will.
The question is, how much
pain is there? The question is,
how to get the condemned to lay
their necks peacefully
on the block?

Heartbeat

It’s a magical incantation
a vital rhythm
the slowest heartbeat in the world
but the most reliable
one hour
each pulse lasts
once a week
and in that rushing
of life’s blood
we soar.
The iron law
forbids three things
that forbidding like
a pentagram drawn
in salt creates
the space for
everything.

Execution

My love for you
is like a child
innocent and trusting
fresh and full of promise
in its eyes all the wonders that
could be;
approaching the wedding party
with a bomb strapped to
its chest, coming to us
for help and salvation
trusting we will save it
and I must give the order
to shoot.

The sculptor

One corner of my soul
is pinned to the hour we
last spoke, and the
other to the moving
present and I am
stretched so thin
I cast no shadow. Your
silence washes the
colour out of my days
and pain hollows me
hour by hour
like a sculptor carving
a bowl.

Dawn

Another dawn.
I love the dawn
sunrise, birdsong
a fresh beginnning.
Approached from the right side
from the side of sleep,
of night,
the awakening of the body,
the quickening of the pulse,
a transformation and a beginning
the dawn is a beautiful thing.
But
approached from wakefulness
from nights weary journey
into the darkness of days
with a body worn
from worry
another dawn is
another failure.

Starlight

You fell into my atmosphere
like a shooting star and came
to rest inside my ribs. Nestled
under my heart, and warmed me with
your glow. I didn’t know then you
were still orbiting your own dark
star, and picking up speed again
you tore a hole in me wider
than my existence. Kneeling at
a corner of the hole, with torn
arteries clenched in my fists, I
watched you receding, still the
most lovely star in my heaven,
still my only light. And then,
in darkness I slipped and fell in
to the chasm you left and
drowned in my own blood.