New Years

I stand – alone – at an open gate –
I have missed midnight’s kisses –
then – me-the-fool – fleetingly lost
the worked-at vows which we set
on our half-recalled wedding day –
a ceremony thirteen years earlier

where we sliced up a countdown
to the last hour’s holding of hands –
with our slid rings on held fingers –
our bind to the old laws of the state –
silver and gold bands of such weight –
I stand alone as this New Year sings

Four by Four

I sought the purport
of a four-letter word
after coming across it
in a loan long-expired

I looked to definition
in its Wikipedia entries
of disambiguations
in need of citations

But do not believe
everything with labels
not even a short story
of four vocables

Love is an impact crater
on the far side of the moon
Love was a film
starring Salman Khan

An East London Dancer

So she tipped – like a slipped-off creature
under the water – tilting back – to arc
below – to birth a falsified richness
of twisted mist – of dry-cold-on-wet-heat

and I held no appall at her staged nudity
which I stood over – there her magnified skin
of yet-kissed white – of yet-sucked circles –
and that interruption above her turned legs

She let my eyes dry her raised limbs
with an idiot’s roughness – back then
such was her kick – in and out of the water –
she lifted a leg and I was ineffective

Before the gig I had been couch-anchored
as she stood just-wrapped in her towel –
with unfitted – with flirts – with a glimpse –
and me on the guest list for her show

At Our Gate

Old lust – our ragged plot
of strangling weeds –
of poisonous shrubs
turn to interleave

I no longer prune hard –
here they still grow –
even tool-turned beds
take foul seeds
as true

You employ a man –
whom you poorly pay –
who digs in hard
with hands-on-spade

He labours for hours –
the rough cover he tears –
as he clears the unloved –
you taste his turned air

In the Eye

Women slip from winsome
under their senescent faces –
their hands steal the looks
off youth’s eyed-embraces –

They pleasure in pastimes
of tease-tricks and flirts –
they command your heart –
their hard rules will subvert

I want to reach out
and trace your lined beauty –
of furrows and laugh lines
worn freely at forty

I will kiss your eyelids
of stitch-tightened skin –
because here is your beauty –
it is still within

Finding You

I found value in my love for you
under Aurelius and Epictetus –
so I purchased a one-way ticket
to end my lonely sojourn abroad

I wasn’t tempted in empty deserts –
no fingers took my potent virtue –
no foreign lips encouraged sin –
But I saw mirrors on their pages

and I watched myself translating –
framing – like Christ – opportune times –
I saw my mouth speak in tongues
telling you to taste my poison

Now I unpack my emptied bags
having brought back nothing more –
I left behind heavy possessions
which I no longer wish to share

Lover

I leave clues in the bathroom –
empty blisters of pills –
Leonard is everywhere
singing of stiffening thrills

Affection is not infecting
the bodies in the beds
and children speak in whispers
because of what is said

All I want from your presence
is engagement and thoughts
instead we stare at screens
and read others’ fingered words

My weight is dropping daily
whilst the world fattens up –
I would pray for forgiveness
but I’d be praying far too much

The Return of Bike Sheds

With your old lover
are you revisiting
playgrounds left empty –

gripped swings and see-saws
of a groped adolescence –
of snucked-suck kisses –

behind rusted bike sheds
and lonely youth huts?
Then a quick-lifted skirt

to his stronger fingers –
Now replaced
by a sureness in him


EDITED 170219

M.D.

Behind my eyes,
becalmed in bed,
as the rooks clatter
in the lime trees,

and the last barks
of a dog trails off,
I am in the entrepot
of my memories,

picking at the skin
of scar tissue love,
I peel back time,
to make the past bleed

with the lifting
of rough scabs,
and with this peeling
comes a sore wound

which will not heal,
because I scratch it
into an angry mess:
her mark remains.