spring spreads over
the walls of my small box.
its heartbeat swells against the glass,
warms my palms from inside.
i count the bricks in the yard
with the ball of my foot.
try not to wake the saplings
that cling to the mortar.
the dream peels clean from my skin
like old sunburn.
the lemons are ripe and round
the bricks are soft in the sun
like watered-down cordial,
like the shy hands of spring.
we give the words we can spare
share our food
take the sky in small sips.
i hum on the one note
to keep the spring in my mouth,
held between my teeth,
turned over on my tongue.
i keep you away
so the spring doesn’t fall from my mouth.
open the door any wider
and the bodies of strangers,
real and unreal,
will slip out in the wind.
a child cries somewhere
behind the garden fence.
a dog barks.
there’s a flash behind my eyes.
a child laughs and you reach forward,
you feel the tug,
sit me down, set me straight.
your voice lingers
dry behind the kitchen door.
i have no obligation to answer.
i pinch the stem:
the fruit comes off too clean,
the excess force
tripping me over,
trampling the saplings.
i imagine i hear the squeals
of small men living inside
you dwell in the spaces between saccades.
again, you chime, Flo.
your voice, oxidising
in the warm breeze.
i’m drawn to the drops
of lemon, the cold kitchen,
the keyhole bright against my ear.
there’s no way you can hear me,
i hold fast to the hollow.
Before, during, and after
Long distances in time.
Swept from the look-me-in-the-eyes audacity of dirt between toes
To the clean shaven immortal-talking moots of Valhalla, Olympus
And some greater stars
From each, a bit of residue,
Screaming for the Big Time,
Wedging itself to the bottom of my shoes
‘My whole body hurts but I can see the horizon’
The blindness of youth.
When I’d run a shorter distance,
Gleamed less of Greater Truths
I found it awkward to find hitchhikers
Strumming up conversation from a backseat I hadn’t cleared.
They’d still have bits of PVC pipe,
A worn jacket, and rocks from Jupiter, Neptune or some such.
I’m not sure they’d realised who they’d stuck their thumb out to.
I wasn’t grizzled nor giving
Anecdotes and slight shows of tenderness.
Instead I was far-seeing
The desperateness of a shorter life.
But then at a break in the marathon
When I finally moved slow enough
To see snails on leaves, and exhaust from motor vehicles,
I hit a brick Wall of Irreverence.
A far-sight staring at the black-blue of the rest of the track
The same way I did.
We know how you felt and still do
The quick fixings of sex
Binging and reruns of Friends
Parks and Rec
Your hair flew and shone so much better.
In the wind that I conjured
The few times you left outside
And stared upwards to black spots in your eyes.
At low points you would look high and see right into them,
And see the black-blue
And me on the doormat.
If only you knew how welcome you were
How capable you had been
To jump up to that breeze
And push yourself through.