Last Dance

You were a low-slung
holdall of hot tears
in my useless arms

like those strained bags
of fairground goldfish –
ones eventually flushed

Not my choice of dance
either – in an empty place
at this time of life –

too much to yearn
after your choosing
of others’ routines?

Another unasked
question left to quell
as my discomfort rises

Seller’s remorse kicks in
as you consider my
boxed up possessions?

Do not answer me
and score higher points
of pity from our audience

Let me leave untouched
without your wept stains
on my dropped shoulders

as salted marks of high rank –
which you had removed
in a previous court-martial

War Poets

Paul Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne
was coded – still popular poetry –
to give notice –

his long sobs of French-sung violins
declared an Allied invasion
to those listening

Whilst she never understood speeches
of love – and our common
mistakes –

I would rarely read to her – she rarely read
my mutterings – my weight-pared

She never understood what was being said
She found poetry too difficult
her own résistance


This hushed hour is mine
around our slept-still house

as tea scabs to cold in that mug
beside my half-empty bed –
my asset of sleep is long lost

Me – not being cocky enough
to walk outside and scratch
at this started day’s waking

Me – not wanting to unearth
all that has been lost overnight

Yesterday’s quitting of clothes
is bared evidence of my new ways

now there is no inquisition
or other solutions – I love it

Such sluttery no longer matters

These Players

There are no long embraces –
no more slowing of time
by a hold on your intimacy –
or by those so-silent
No unsaid understandings
by affection’s expressions –
none by a raised eye to mine

There are no looks in poor light
between slowly rolled reveals –
none from behind your kabuki’s drop
to show last acts and dull speeches
by your poor choice of leading man
to your bloodied hack of a queen –
an actress dressed by quickened lies
wearing arsenic in her makeup


In this year – so far – we have agreed
to annul our two-hander – your play

to not to be wed – to let go of – to lose –
to admit your need to be fulfiled by others

This you had inverted when it served your
reversal from vows and our long history

You morphed – not frigid – fearing your age –
of being your mother’s fat-arsed daughter

with her own cast of doubtful lodgers
and other blood-tied historical sniggers

You have dragged our experiments
and failed-at tests from our turned bed

out into the open – as your buried pain –
when your bared pain makes you come

I am now awake to such hard nudges –
ones once ignored – filed away for ages