I’ll take all the memories
and package them like boiled sweets,
twisted at each end so we can get at them
and I will save them for winter
and for everything else
because we need them more than we think we do.
And as much as we’ve right and reason to hope
we’re entitled to what we once had
just as much
if not more.
Coffee that has stewed
for half an hour or more.
I gulp it down;
I will wait.
As Mumford and Sons shrink themselves
small enough to run chord-fuelled races
down my left and right headphones,
Strings plucked to the rhythm of lust,
I will wait.
As his fingers wonder what they were made for
other than pressing morphine buttons, call buttons,
as her skin cries out to the muffled sun
for freckles, pigmentation, anything,
I will wait.
As God’s own finger dents the atmosphere:
causes a tsunami which barely splashes his knuckles;
As I feel the earth spin one more rotation
and the hands count down 24 hours more
I will wait.
And your endorphins shake hands with each other
for the last time
and make for the exit.
Your blood cells feel their final bullets judder and backfire.
And as the amber glow in each tiny cellular window
you evacuate in the silence
between the bleeps of all the lives put on hold.
It’s the coffee that wakes me-
lukewarm, hitting my own roaring bloodstream.
My thumbs trace the sensitive inside crease of your arm,
and as the last nerve flickers through the clinical air,
I know that you would have told me
to stop waiting.
7:45 in Billinge: a Wednesday,
and it is late again, raining again,
ten minutes’ worth of moisture.
It is 2010.
It will come at 7:47, I will board it,
It will smell like old dust
seeped in cheap perfume. Choking
on a tie pulled too tight,
on a lack of words.
Then it will judder and swing,
rain clinging to the windows
like loose threads.
I will convert siren laughter
into white noise.
Damp sinks into my skin.
It is 2013
7:45, Billinge, a Wednesday,
A different destination.
It would have come. I would have boarded it,
He would have moved his bag and smiled and
Pretended our conversation was more
Interesting than the page he folded over
In a book I made him close.
It would have come,
Two years ago,
One quiet, swollen minute early,
I step out to meet it.
It meets me first.
I fragment myself against a bus window
This service terminates here.
I never wanted to fall in love with you.
I never wanted to want the tearing down of dreams and the replacement of them with fresh dreams, all under the pretence that this is reality. I never wanted to be sweating against some stranger on a Piccadilly bound bus; I never asked for the ability to navigate the underground with two people in tow.
I never asked for you.
I got ushered right into the middle of you and I fell in love with a boy in your outskirts and as I shot back from the your very centre a year later, you shouted after me until I saw a world without him for the first time.
You know what you are? You are a person who is told, time and time and time again,
Do it this way
Mind the gap
And you never learn.
You’re like me. I will never learn. Yet I want to do just that, for three years, in the underbelly of you.
There was a girl who read religiously and loved shallowly and believed everything she was told and cringed if she disobeyed, and you would have swallowed her whole.
But now she is someone who savours last lines and blank spaces. Who falls in love without really noticing until one day she looks into his eyes and her heart goes ‘oh look, they’re brown’, and it doesn’t matter that all the other eyes were blue. She believes nothing is possible until she has committed it to memory, and even then she had trouble. And she needs you.
Here i am, clinging to a solitary raindrop,yet you will split the heavens in two for me until I am saturated, sobbing in the middle of covent garden.
Somebody told me to live today and tonight as though I had chosen you.
I think that tomorrow I will wake up miserable.
They were built beneath the skies of Normandy
and left to age.
Today, children press their faces
to the rusting eye of each gun;
feel the unyielding cold curve of the inside.
Traces of death and gunpowder
no longer linger.
As the men cowered behind them
they stood proud;
punched foreign shores,
fragile and fragmented lives.
Now, the gunpowder piles up
into two minutes of silence each year.
They hang their heads,