GUN CRIME IN ENGLAND (Lazy NaPoWriMo Interlude)

Back-fire of a car in the distance –
the shock of high-pitch girlish scream
my feet skim, trip as I expect
every passing slowing car
to gun me down mid-step mid-step

& now -

Tho the crescent moon rises through
the branches of the blossoming tree
to a world sweet on lavender, somewhere
somewhere in the world there are guns.

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OTHER QUESTIONS (NaPoWriMo #2)

The kitchen: she examines him across the fruit bowl,
thinks standard apple, orange, banana -
as he mumbles of wavelengths and halflives,
no – dragonfruit, kiwi, crabapple, lychee.

& Along the street he’s examining objects
of no mundane importance. Puddle, she thinks,
lamplight, shadow, maroon. There are glimpses
of him in each squint and visible thought.

Dressing for bed, she sees him frown, and there are
things in his head that might never cross her own.
He says, “how is maximum density achieved?”
not quite to her, no acknowledgement necessary.

Later, she is thinking of him
and the air of her hometown is sweet
and the taste of ash violaceous against her tongue.

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CRUELEST MONTH (NaPoWriMo #1)

T.S. was right, and the 13.25 comes and goes:
there is no spark, no smoking -
no nothing of any sort, no flash of light,
just heat that bores and sits.

I still & sip and stare, knowing a thousand
million of these moments have been:
this one goes a silent train. & Yet
to say there is nothing here would be a lie.

There is nothing — only the lingered kiss,
only love driven far far in the opposite direction,
only some impression in the breeze of features,
your face against mine, & a flash of light and heat.

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DISORDER

I am a creature of skin;
I don’t know what manner of thing I am.

In the spring there are daffodils;
In the spring I beg the roof to cave in
and fill my body with holes.

You press your lips against my neck -
there is something human there perhaps.
Perhaps there is something human.

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THE GREASE MOTH

The man who invented moths
had never seen a butterfly
until the day he invented moths.
That day, it was the musky smoke that hung,
like one dim bulb, one gap round the doorframe,
it was the butterfly swept apart the fog
with bright leaf shell,
crumpled, the fur cloak of a hunter.

Man found the bright disguise a lie
and so he made the moth,
which doesn’t disguise itself
but disguises everything into itself.

One moth, the Tineola bisselliella,
he set to devour clothes,
the hanging brown threads of moth wings
patterned like galaxies of dirt,
and her friend the Bombyx mori
to build the dregs back up to silky garments,
soothing cocoons for men to hide
and he raised every worm, writhing,
in his caged mouth, where some of them learnt
to feed on his tongue and the juices of old food,
the Aglossa cuprina,
and had to confine in the shed.

And so existed the moth and the man
till he pushed open his mothers door
to find a room doused in lavender,
cold like a fridge or a jar, choked,
and, unwarded, a single moth nestling
in the chipped paint skin of her face,
the big Grease Moth and the larvae,
picking through her lavender cheek
mouthless.

He moved but the neighbours heard
how they followed him, after the funeral,
and afterwards how he left his windows open
in the night for them to rest, twitching,
in the warmth.

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MOONLIGHTING

I am waking half way through your life,
you are slipping underneath mine,
we negotiate the crossover like
night and day, like you are sky blue
and I? Dark, dark navy.

How do you understand these hours
I hold of melancholy wakefulness,
listening to the muffled rumble of lorries,
amplifying this every sound,
illuminating objects one by one?

I slip down the staircase, turn pages,
view things half-lamplight half-shadow.
You, in the sunlight, drained,
thud feet on the pavement,
see the world through your window.

I watch you as night still lingers,
you watch me as day breaks,
forever duvet-rumpled, I cannot sleep
for the heat of your body and the chill
of my skin and your insides.

I live on the other side of the moon.
This, my gift to you:
I put myself out of place,
out of time, out of mind once in a while,
moonlighting.

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HUMAN BIOLOGY III

Which came first, your gleaming pulse or mine?
Lend me blueprints of your mind and I’ll stay,
thinking of scalpels, cupped in your scapula as I lie,
the shadows of my eyelashes stretched across
the imperfections of your back. Ephelis, cicatrice, nevus.

Vertebral column to column we face each other.
I slice the cranial map on your torso – you strum
wire across the surface, a throbbing artery, coiled veins -
and follow the lines off the page through clusters
of muscle and translucent skin, cobbled, but
what would you say through your vocal folds if
my larynx said I’d lost my cranium but found yours?

And far from your thoughts I prepare to jump,
flexibility of limb an evasive quality, waiting for you
to plunge my heart down through my stomach,
empty and deep: reach your whole forelimb down
and let it log with murky fluids until it sinks,
like the sinking of the organ and the rise over again
until it gags me sweet, in the taste buds.

I just know my tongue will writhe on the roof of my mouth.
I pull my head up over my heels; should that be heart over head?

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