he gets me, like people get a cold; horrid, certain relief at its departure, but an excuse to push all life aside for a handful of bunged-up days and nights… it is toasty cosy, in its own inconvenient way.
we sleep in separate beds,
to clear our clouded heads.
we keep our secrets wrapped
in fountain signatures and organ flourishes.
we have rooms upon rooms,
some shortage of love
made up in wallpaper and bespoke furniture.
the sweeping staircase
holds centre place,
a marble decoy
feels as cold as the living flesh
behind the welcome and the wine,
we keep our hands apart.
stands for wedding photos developed unseen,
on the white pretence
that fill so many baby dreams;
it seems that playground jests
have found their sad manifest
in our little life of theatre.
how could you place two rooms within the same walls? to not have a concrete separation between these elements of domesticity is surely madness beyond that which i am able to comprehend. i must know where the sitting room ends, and the dining room begins, or else i may dine where custom says i should sit, and such atrocities do not have a place in any life of mine.
kisses summer sheets,
stains baby’s one-piece
wait till morning.
she lies back on the bench frame.
but a good spot to sit and watch as the children play.
the vulgar metal poles of the swing set
are painted red and yellow,
the playground looks a kindergarten painting.
sludge brown tar mac
trimmed with green green grass,
bubblegum blue skies
and wallpaper clouds.
it is a pity, she thinks
that the young traipsers passing by
with hands held,
they do not see the grizzly side of things,
just toothless smiles, slides and swings.
there are drawings pinned to the walls,
and cardboard models.
two furrowed brows sit on two pale faces,
illuminated like twin moons
by their screen,
the single light in the dark, dark studio.
pixels stacked on pixels,
the colour wheel barely touched,
the complaints of old-time mothers
burnt up before formation.
look how peaceful life can be if one makes it so!
to and fro…
cold chains hold rubber seats within a paused perimeter,
i would the naive eyes which blink at family delights
would see them snap.
morning is yet to break over the little house at the cul de sac’s tip. the kitchen lies untidy, spaghetti hardening in the plug hole as the soft hum of the fridge is fragmented by gentle whistles that seep through the thin walls. the first light falls over the curling pages of open books, read only by the bent heads of dried-up roses, peering over the edge of their thirsty vase. petals tumble into empty bowls, their sweet scent wedded with the growing stench of day-old milk. it’s a carnival for the senses, if only one would buy a ticket.
the room is thronged with a cocktail of vapours; sweat and steam cling to the mirror like teenagers, bent on imperfection examination.
‘i shall never be clean,’ she moans. the bathroom floor is littered with shards of soap, fragranced fragments that decorate the greasy linoleum like pointed pebbles on a dirty beach. an old towel holds her damp hair – a mother’s hand, gently secure in her naked vulnerability.
‘i shall never be clean,’ she sings. another soapy slither drops to the floor, milky suds pooling beneath it; a sailboat at low tide.
‘clean…’ wrinkled fingers unwrap a fresh bar. clean, smooth – it plops beneath the bathwater, and the baby splash makes her giggle.
she did not care for fashion, she dressed herself in spirit and wit.
i long to ask my older self – did you chose the rugged road of refined rejection, or the smooth street of simplistic sellout?