brushed cotton

the sheets on my duvet are
brushed cotton:
soft as a cat’s belly, warm as a toaster.
under my sheets is a
mattress topper:
quilted, comfy.

they sandwich me together and
hold me in place.
pin me down in their pillowy teeth.
skip forward eight months and
I’ll still be here.
trapped in myself in dreamless days.

after several washes, the
brushed cotton
roughens.
after months of warm bodies, the
mattress topper
clumps.

rain

rain

empty droplets trace my skin

clouds painted into existence articulate the greyness

chattering pearls explode on impact sending shockwaves through my bedroom window

the perfect moment when wetness becomes a finite quantity

a sloppy puddle creates endless possibilities

rain

stars hide behind fluffy curtains

a stolen kiss taken beneath compromised shelter

rivers flow faster murkier stronger becoming rush hour traffic for detritus

umbrellas prove their value to cautious owners

drains and pipes inevitably fail

rain

there’s a word that describes the opening act

when gentle projectiles begin their assault on asphalt

particles bursting into formation filling the nostrils of those lucky enough to experience

a scent that’s reminiscent of pepper and soil

your favourite word

petrichor


 

masculinity

choke back
your tears and swallow down
the lump

lock away
your sorrows and forget
about love

cover up
your scars and hide away
the shame

don’t think
about failures or remember
those days

*****

drink beer
from the bottle and pretend to
like shots

say you
watch sports and keep track of
who’s top

fight the
right men and don’t act like
a nerd

don’t cry
like a girl and conceal when
you’re hurt

*****

don’t take
those pills you know better
than most

the counsellors
know nothing they’re snowflakes
they’re wrong

the silence
inside you is normal
you’re fine

just keep
breathing stop thinking and
man the fuck up


Summer

Crisp packets
And
Tinnies

Plastic bottles
And
Bags

Gas canisters once filled with an instance of bliss
And
Cigarette filters moistened with morning dew

Shattered glass scattered across your next ten footsteps
And
Disposable lighters filled with the last droplet of flame

Scorch marks burned into an amphitheatre of camp chairs
And
Tent poles twisted into metal spines

Maccies bags
And
Costa cups

Condom wrappers
And
Needles

The same old question asked with hopeful ignorance
The same old answer uttered with increasing uncertainty
The next one
The next one
The next one
The next one
The next one

Pool

I swim with my eyes open.
Wide as the light
at the end of a cardboard tube.
I like the way the water feels
against the back of my skull,
acid-burning the still images.

I make out shapes in the pool,
pointillistic
silhouettes of other users,
who stay in their lanes marked out by
those chemically bleached ropes.
We reach for accidental contact.  

I press my lips together,
they only open above the surface,
just a snatch of breath,
then I am done.