Kestrel

The state of missing someone, and being prey to your own thoughts, and wondering who is doing the chasing.

I remained awake,

Saved my sleep for another day

When I knew I would spend rest

Well and have some

Left over for exchange

Of your heat

Peacefully reposing

In the empty bed

We often shared

I chain-smoked

Outside amongst the ice and mist

Wrapping the streets in its cool grasp

And watched a kestrel,

Out of place,

Solemnly eat a pigeon

In the midst

Of greyed feathers

Scattered

Like dropped blossom

With every exhale,

I knew you rested

In another room,

A white room,

Where I needed time’s window,

An hour’s worth of holding

To yield your body to mine

In fervent grasp

We could pick up,

And go back to the trail

We left off

Where the clocks stopped enough

To take a breath

And pause…

The minutes between our mouths

In tight clasp

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Yours

When you don’t have much, you have to be imaginative in what you can give to add value to what is on offer. I invent to create importance, and to show that I care.

 

I leave my door open,

In the hope that you’ll walk through,

And clutch me with such fervour,

That the walls shake

In their corners,

And the window clamours

To get a better view

From its frame

 

I’ll say your name;

Though I’m pocket poor,

I know what it is to feel wealth amass

In taut arms

As the gold of your hair cascades

Over my shoulder

In untamed lakes

And falls

 

I cannot give you as much

As I’d like, yet I can offer my bed,

And these kisses

With this and this and this

Handheld in twisted sheets,

Our warm touch bled

Into blended red mouths

With soft spoken lips

Murmuring their rhymes

 

The verses formed

With you on my mind,

All paid in advanced due

Each last loving line an IOU

Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 18

I was used to the intimate looks Artemis shot me in glances; the expression in her eyes saved for me only. And yet I absorbed her eye contact hungrily, as the teasing nature of it made me will the minutes to drop off the clock dial faster with each steady infuriatingly slow rotation. The two hours we were naked, baring all and yet sharing ourselves as if we were alone, would always be glorious torture. I revelled in it because I knew I was hers only. When we got dressed each night at 7pm, ready for the bus journey home, I would envisage tearing off those perfectly arranged clothes so that they would show me the beautiful curves other hands had sketched. 

Headphones

I plugged in,

Switched on,

Fine-tuned the beat,

And let myself

Clumsily meet the rhythm

Pouring its symphonic song

Into ears ready

To the censor the world

And its unrefined lyrics

From this reluctant mind

 

I was young, I

Balanced the hits

On a list, each vying

‘Play me on repeat,

Again and again’

Through tangled wires

Sourcing the songs

 

I was one, and two

And even three:

Counting, counting

Verses into sound

Whilst the cacophony

Beyond rattled and fell mute –

Ran dry,

Burrowed underground

 

I wouldn’t hear

Their voices droning doubt,

Tone-deaf in their falling flat

Octaves outside

My own stereo surround

 

Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 17

I shivered as I felt fallen snow make its way on my neck down the back of my coat, and melt instantly. It was anyone’s guess as to when the next bus would be. Artemis and I decided to walk.

And so we did. We walked through deserted streets painted with a thick layer of ice, here and there ridged with footprints which offered welcome traction from the otherwise smooth surface. In gaps in the almost impenetrable clouds, we pointed out constellations biting their clean light into the yawning mouth of the sky. This was our city tonight; the usual grime-steeped city made new for as long as it snowed.

Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 16

“I became much closer with Theo, as she was going through a similar thing. I hadn’t even confided in her about my situation, but she didn’t hold back in telling me what she was going through. She was heartbroken, poor girl; and I shouldn’t have, but I took consolation that it wasn’t just me who couldn’t be with the person I wanted.”

I guess my face must have looked inscrutable, because he continued.

“Living in the flat was a very difficult time for her. She was in love, and was often sad.”

The idea now was blatantly obvious, revealed entirely and forlorn in its posture. I saw it personified every day; it climbed into bed with me each night and flashed its kindness and heat whenever it could. It displayed its loyalty, dedication and patience. It gave me strawberries and sunflowers. In relating to me one of his own truths, Plato had also conveyed another. I could give it, her, a name.

“Who was Theo in love with?” I asked hollowly, my legs shaking.

Hecate’s Coffee House

I left the broom

At home

In some unswept room

And instead flew by car

To practice divination

In the café-filled prattle

Of distorted incantations

Steam blurred and undetectable

In the bubble

Of water, heated enchantations

Made drinkable

With milk, sugar, and tea

 

The fools were swallowing

Hot chocolate and lattes

By the countless cup,

Toiling with silver spoons

To mix the beverage enough

To their liking

 

They didn’t notice me slipping

And adding my own little twist

Here and there to a mug,

Nor pouring the mixtures up

In silent transformation

With each drop, drop, drop

Of the witch’s brew

 

I could have read the leaves,

They read the same

In plain view;

Still, the measures

Ensnared the drinkers

And gave them their due

 

I’m sure they’ll be back

For another Earl Grey fix

At Hecate’s Coffee House soon