Golden Pneumas

Golden Pneumas

At first the wind carried me,

catching my weary legs once crippled with worries

and careless whispers, now cradled by the warm breeze

and wrapped in the sweetest words.

I cannot remember the last time I uncovered this skin,

exposed it to sunlight, to movement, feet aching

from the walk across hard pavements and hill climbs.

Your hand on my bare thigh

takes me a moment to recognise it’s mine;

I watch in awe of the goosebumps that grow,

how our miracle bodies react to the cold,

bruised and scratched but satisfied.

Let me rest on this birch tree, exchange a smile

with the panting dog – he knows I know

what freedom feels like amongst the pines.

As do the birds, they haven’t stopped singing

since I stepped outdoors and their gentle presence follows me

like little Cupids,

arrows flying towards the soft lips of my new lover,

alone, as she speaks to herself.

The Night I Spent Staring At Beer Mats

The Night I Spent Staring At Beer Mats

I sip my glass of reality slowly, let its carbonated contents satisfy my thirst for presence, so sick of sinking into places I don’t belong. Arms, sofa cushions, the spaces between words – I haven’t figured out a way to stop getting stuck. I’m here, world, and I’m trying to sit still but this seat isn’t sturdy, it shakes with the strength of self-destructive thoughts and I’m scared someone else will swallow me. “Research suggests counting in situations like this”, he says, “it’s supposed to help with the grounding”; but he can’t focus to count past one and all I can count is the number of times I’ve needed to shape-shift – become smaller, softer, less secure, silent. So I stand, we leave, and I try to subtly avert my eyes from what you don’t want me to see. Or is it that you don’t want me to be seen? Outside, the sky is speckled with stars like the freckles on your skin. I start to join up the dots.

When Vulnerability Calls

When Vulnerability Calls

The sense of muffled footsteps, then a knock at the door,

gentle but persistent like spring rain,

pots simmering on the stove.

You don’t go,

though your job is thirsty work

and my parched throat, drained of liquid sound

that now trickles through my veins, adding weight

to limbs pinned fast to frozen ground.

Your palm turns the handle, the familiar twist

I check three times before nightfall

in case the ghosts visit,

whispering sweet nothings through the walls.

You all seem the same, at first charming,

lighting flames to torch the halls,

taming the spirits to trust the floor

like they could melt my muscles malleable,

like their words could make me move,

escape the labyrinth for the chance of absolutes

to find you stoking an imaginary fire,

breathing in the smoke of untruths.

Ten Years and Counting

Ten Years and Counting

It’s like you have always been there,

tucked away in an inside pocket

of the back of my mind,

a fidget item for these hands to find

when my head disconnects,

under anaesthetic from the neck down

though I’d have rather felt the burning sensation

from your quick disintegration,

the pain as you were wiped away.

Now a small dressing covers all that remains

of how you stuck to my skin.

Nurture wins the genetics debate

for I won’t miss your DNA,

my colours never ran in the family.