A Daughter Lies

She rolled her stone-grey eyes
around my emptied house

She stared – hexed –
under her god-given right to be there

She – again – screamed too loudly –
I’m not going anywhere

She was present – moored safely
by her storm-dropped anchor

She unfettered her throaty gob –
spittle built in her foam-filled mouth

She spewed thrice-sworn spat words –
hatred spluttered out

She shouted again
and her vent dripped down my open shirt

She was an execrating creature
with stitched-back red lips

She turned her unmarked right palm out –
this pain was her last gift

She glared from grey marbles –
clicking – as her eyes flipped wild

She slapped with her right hand –
opened out – she rouged my cheek

She always looked more frightened than me
being an arrant fool

A Lepers Squint

Our pew is set for untouchables
We watch through a hewn leper squint
That tunnelled sightline was gouged
by your dust-bitten youth and old men

to ensure that we filthy sufferers
are kept out of your hallowed house
of slung beams – of struck stones –
of holy words – we cannot speak out

My prayers rip up before they finish
I dribble red spit from my curled lip
I implore for my ill disfigurement
to plague your stonemason’s next kiss

The Mother-in-law Joke

She then struck out
with an open hand
to land callouses
and a creased palm
flat and fast across
my unshaven cheek

Unexpectedly received –
her flesh-reddening hate
applied five digits wide –
a gold ring-smacked slap –
it was my mother-in-law’s
barely risible routine

All because my wife lies
so turning her sour love
into a vinegary mash –
Never live with a woman –
those joke-gifted words
rung from another time

And if that assault
had been my strike out
then jangled handcuffs
would now be mine –
inequality has
its slight advantages –
sometimes – for some

As If She Had Struck Herself

Banshee my first thought –
followed by lunatic
and then spitting feathers
but was spitting nails better?

Her hand was sudden –
flat – iron-hard on my face
in such a swift upper arc
It was well-practised –

she was beating
every man and boy
who had ever dare ignore
her high pitch of orders

Those grey eyes revealed
a fleeting wince –
as if she had struck
herself with this hate

An instant recoil
of her upper body
as her buckshot rebut
kicked her back

And every crease
on her lined face
doubled up
She had struck herself

Bonfire

We cannot ignore
what we see //
We have to recognise
the slow creep
of ired white men
and equal women
who will re-stoke
their noisome hate
by piling their lies
in ideological pyres//
They will then torch
the shredded truth
lit with cupped
safety matches –
putting a slow flame
to stacked ‘papers –
those dried ink lines
of their justified vice –
set in monotype – far-right
under Jack-high cries//
We cannot be seen
to not see this
and to not raise
a more graceful mob