No smoking

January 24, 2014
 From a distance
 it could've been a bird
 or some kind of angel free
 from limbs.
 The wisp of smoke
 a wing,  caught mid-flight
 by the line through it.
 It was cold on the train
 and we huddled in groups
 a soup of people swimming
 through the carriage.
 The eye from the video
 sign watched us
 alongside that bird
 stuck like a kiss
 to the window.

Last Night

September 28, 2013
 to match my insides
 I cycle
 stuttering along cobbled streets, smoothed by wind
 and tyres filled with more air than mine,
 shoe-shined by late summer rain.
 I breathe in;
 holding the night before close
 to my skin, tickling belly-hairs
 under the loose-string cardigan
 you so coveted in photographs
 that I have thrown on
 thrown over
 to cover my embarrassment.
 Face tired and long
 from all night trying;
 smile woolly at the edges
 where it meets my cheeks
 I think about you.
 With each turn of my wheels
 shoes sticky from something
 and stuck on my pedals
 it jiggles above my ribs,
 gets caught in my throat
 that high-ceilinged room
 me, coat on and waiting
 for an answer
 and you standing there saying
 something, saying
 nothing at all;
 all your charms gone and
 you're suddenly, surprisingly small:
 all height lost to the walls.

Why do lovers break each other’s hearts?

August 3, 2013


April 18, 2013
Sieved through window blinds
light falls in stripes
on your eyelids and mine
Birdsong, also filtered by glass,
and the first I've heard all year
is still shrill in our duvet'd ears and,
confused by the cold, poses
a question at the end of each phrase.
Birds nests, like wedding hats, sit
in bare trees that flex with age. Arms
outstretched like the ladies
who wear them.
No leaves.
You turn to me, face
avocado green (and sick of me),
your fists
curl and uncurl;
mine are pounding the sheets.


December 8, 2012
You were there all Summer 
behind warm trees 
waving, waist-high grasses hanging 
from our belt holes. 
Now lying still 
under ice of your own
making I think about skating or
pressing my cheek close
to your window; knees
by my chest, skates
cutting a hole, blowing
hot air and writing
my initials with a gloved finger.  
I cycle past, 
brakes broken from cold and shrieking louder
than before.
The swans stay in their corner 
as snow comes down 
and you are not.
Staying true.
This isn't your season
the playground filled with Christmas wind
but in Spring 
they'll come again with rucksacks
and babies 
bigger than last year; 
made fat on the same geese
who once laid their eggs here
and tripping up on their laughter
we'll chase each other's children
our own strapped 
like birds to our backs
and they'll make songs 
for the Summer
to float like boats 
along the soft water.


November 11, 2012
 He said 
 du gehst nach Hause und
 ich gehe kaputt,
 arms crossed over an empty chest. 
 No heart. 
 I charted the evening's success on my thigh  
 drawing lines with the waiter's pen  
 making circles
 while we waited for dessert.

Tempelhofer Feld (2)

September 4, 2012

En route to Tempelhofer Feld

August 23, 2012
his engine stuttered and failed, like
he'd come too soon right there in the street.
My mother's dress, fresh
from the hospital
billowed around my knees, the traffic-
breeze circled us and the fabric waved.


June 25, 2012
 My hair was a crown and
 I was a horse
 as you walked past the house
 and I galloped across the road.
 Hooves against glass
 I peered through the café window, only
 to see us eating eggs 
 in the dark;
 our smiles glowing over coffee,
 butter that I thought was cheese and 
 across the years
 that have passed.
 It was silent inside and
 I snorted. The chairs were stacked high
 on the tables that were islands
 and menus fluttered like leaves
 to the freshly washed floor.


June 6, 2012
There have only been waking states;
holding the morning back with my hands
holding the curtains closed
against thick light
that becomes so easily thin
and frayed at the edges. 
It slips through my fingers,
clings to the particles of dust
that lurch through the air;
a crowd
grounded, small patches of joyful filth
making a home on my clothes and skin.
His top lip curls when he says my name and
standing too close he asks a question
he doesn't want an answer to,
the sound of his own voice pearls 
in his cloth-ears
sodden with vowels.
The king of that unwanted morning
asks how I am and laughs
when I answer, laughs
before I've even answered
and under the covers
dust under dust
I kill him nightly in my dreams.


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