Thursday, June 25, 2009

To London.

I try my hardest
to make you break up with me.
I have grown tired
of your self-importance,
and the way you make
me feel.
We are in the centre of you.
You push me onto
sweating underground trains
and expect me to not mind,
when someone else’s body
is clammy, pressed up to mine.
We go south-west.
You make me walk
down upturned roads
full of nannies,
builders,
face-lifts,
dog-walkers,
roads thinly disguised as representing affluence.
We go south-east.
You make me feel unsafe
going home on my own
in those areas I do not belong in,
and do not think to protect me.
I dream of escaping
to a creamy, country housewife
with dimpled elbows
who will welcome me
with baked goods and smiles,
and we will sit
with an uninterrupted lack of noise.
You try to make me jealous
with your scores of streetwise schoolgirl fans
but this pale attempt
does nothing to warm me.
I cannot commit to you
when you make me feel so cold
even in the middle of July.
I have grown to hate your touch,
and shrink away
when you suggest a weekend together;
I see enough of you in the week.
I think this is the end of us,
and I am sorry
that I entertained this for so long.
I think we knew it was doomed from the start.
I know that you will survive;
you can thrive on rebuilding yourself
after destruction
better than any lover I know.
But I am leaving you
for someone who takes the time,
and gets to know me,
someone by the sea, or looking out on fields.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, teatime.

My knees were an arm rest
as I sat cross legged
on the brown carpet floor.
My palms were a chin rest
as I gazed at the television
in our Sunday routine.
The Chronicles of Narnia,
wincing at the White Witch,
heart warmed back again by Mr. Tumnus.
I was not in my living room,
surrounded by my mother’s legs
and my grandmother’s hand-lotion scent,
I was in Narnia,
slippered feet on snowy ground,
a cross between Susan and Lucy.
It was post-roast dinner,
an afternoon spent whining and impatient,
wondering why adults have to sleep
after heavy meals.
My dad washing up,
I would look out into the garden
all brackish and wintered,
and long for some snow.
In came the tray:
cheese and pickle sandwiches,
tomatoes and cucumber
to soften the crusts left on the plates,
a pot of tea.
A bowl of my other grandmother’s pickled onions.
Why are my memories of Sundays always in winter?
We ate and escaped.
I longed for Turkish Delight.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Water bottles

You leave your bottles of water
still wet with cold,
emptied and spent
on tables
in rooms
like a calling card.

Your safety device
is fifty centilitres
of nature’s finest,
screw topped, sports capped,
never flavoured
always favoured.

If you ever went missing,
(a thought that makes
me shrink and wince inside)
we would all know how
to follow
and find you.

Look for the Highland Spring.
The Volvic.
The hollowed blue plastic full,
of the magic substance
that gives your skin that glow.
I follow your trail.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Take me by the hand

Take me by the hand
and I will show you

the creases and fine lines
that frame my eyes.

We barter;
your dimples reveal themselves,

in exchange for my smile
and smile-lines.

My hand in yours,
you tell me it is small,

I shrink in self-consciousness
until reassurance.

We exist
in a secret world,

where no-one else is heard
over the clashing din of heartbeats.

Between my back and yours
we can breathe easier,

say what we are scared to say
and realise this is it.

No doubters here,
they exist only on the outside,

unable to see in
through the frosted glass.

If they could only see,
we could be without prejudice

but for now we only worry
about who is going to make the tea.