Portraiture

Those days of old kindnesses
are not stroked into any recall
by my finest of sable brushes –

not weighted by sweet squeezes
of rollable toothpaste-ish oils –
now it is my turn to sweep colour

inside out – now that other tongues
have given up their generous ways
Take my hand – my copier of colours –

and let if cover your unkind mouth
There are no gilt frames to contain
your cold-hearted complaints

Cancellations

There’ll be
no anniversary –
it was a date
you always forgot

No doubling
of wrapped largesse –
I always gave you
far too much

You still wear
those gifted stones
Does their weight
not bother you?

Dimmed jewels
set in your flesh –
whilst you grip
another fool

There’ll be
no family parties –
no dates fixed –
no invites sent

Your time is given
up to strangers –
it is with them
you’ll celebrate

Noted

From our solemn mediator’s
lined notepad – Just a cheap thing
he referred to his underlinings

He instructed you to observe
Some basic ground rules
now he knows how you are

Do not put aside your husband’s
neurological condition
His Parkinson’s cannot be ignored

It all went wrong weeks earlier
as you pulled out your own pen
when you wanted to Strike a deal!

It all went wrong when you roomed
not for love – a family trait – equalled by
sisterly disruptions of vows

I could not fix that drugged damage
when you stumbled from Brighton
Off your tits and smelling of builders

Our mediator knows who you are
as he gives me a look of concern
and says Are you able to carry on?

Unforgiveable Acts

Euphoria is only possible
by uncoupling from affray

She rolled me over so far
that I am now low – cowed

by a fear of never forgiving
her – my youngest’s mother

I lie in beds of others’ sighs
and wake to complications

I fail to recognise myself
in their bathroom mirrors

My pilferage of toothpaste
becomes my regular crime

along with naked promises
of being a polished surface

No smears from her fingering
is my implausible defence

Kissed Canvas

It is easy to cheat
any marriage –
try slicing your brow
with a clean bread knife –
then forever blink
blood-spat sights

Head spinning –
slo-mo – pugilist stuff
of gob and busted teeth
from a fast fist –
upon both sides –
my glass jaw breaks

My eyes are shattered
by tears and stresses
as if rabbit-punched
and left to wonder
about rules and who
has bunged the ref?

Count your prize money
and lift your belt
with a kiss to your corner
and your proud family –
I-never-could-have-done-it-without
and leave me alone

Seaford Beach

Do you want to sit on that strand
with me and my old sun-tarred men
of Seaford – bent to sipped coffees –
as Newhaven’s headland is scorched?

Or do you take a click-clack walk
into other light on your fuck-me heels
with no one man you really know?

Tipped families and broken open souls
forever perambulate up and in and out
along tugging – dialling-down – shadows
as you decide which is your way to take

And my eyes will wait – still wait to follow
your choice – my own steps only echo
if yours are not into that sunset’s pull

because my last light will always be
seated and fixed among my equals –
those smile-tanned and happy talkers
without a wet desire to set to flames

Our true separation commenced
when you went with old lustrous ways –
too many times – too easily – for my liking

Working Girl

We briefly spoke –
it was a Monday
and you were out
in Central London
sounding slightly
drunk – three gins
gone and done
but not asked
about on your
next day return
Instead – it was
calmly stated
a week later –
you had taken
your lover again
We were shopping
for our youngest
in Haywards Heath
A bombshell
in M&S was not
your worst ever act