Together we are tall

Together we are tall;
your hand
in the small of my back
curls from a flower
to a fist
and I think of each finger
and the brave move you’ve made
a stone on bone
as we walk.
At night as we sleep
hair congregates
and celebrates.
Your arm is hard under my pillow
and fingers are lost to the sheets.
Front knees kiss back knees
and under hot, happy skin
hearts race.

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Shampoo

It has taken me nearly
three years
to buy the same shampoo I
used
with you;
sea buckthorn
berries
hanging in clusters,
disasters,
anniversary balloons.
Sweet orange
shimmers
on the bathroom
floor and
I squeeze hard
like you squeezed me
and I wonder what I’m hoping for.
Soap in my eyes
thin hands on thighs
and kisses strangely
dry
under all this water
and
you ask me what the marks are
from my belly
to my heart
that you well and truly
yeah
you well and truly
went for
didn’t you
lathering my hair
with the creamy sea berry
bubbling to a foamy
crest
ready to break
on my chest, skin
softening in the spray
in the downpour
in the rain
and even now
still paper-thin.

New Year’s Day

It rained on New Year’s Day
lines like a quarrel of frowns across the glass;
a forecast for the year ahead from
the car we watched
a runner and his resolutions; fat
drops like tears
on his hot face.

Despite their midnight message of order and restrained
joy
the tarot cards lay in array on the kitchen table like dead leaves
or last year’s record sleeves
dispersed among gluey islands of Prosecco
and breakfast Shreddies.
Little Nips shovelled and chewed,
pants down and thrilled by it all,
the new year, he said, a fart under the duvet.