Dismantle

The shell crumbles
and the light comes in.
The yolk puddling
in the skull’s corners sizzles
lividly, starting to fry.
It’s too bright in here.
I slop over cracked edges,
sloshing down under
the seams, settling
somewhere close to the surface.

The unblinking eye
drags ragged red behind it;
flesh sighs softly as
it peels away.
I want to uproot the tangle
of blue in my wrist.
I want to shed my
shrunken husk. Nothing
is separate from
the centre anymore.
It’s too porous.

I wade through the days,
dazed by everything pooling,
unspooling and I’m tangled,
strangled in an octopus
of mangled skeins,
brittle veins
that snap,
indolently spilling
a languid red.

All the king’s horses
and all the king’s men,
couldn’t put me
back
together
again.

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Summer Eyes

Burnished limbs uncoil
under a swollen sun,
sticky with
sleep and suncream.

Twisting to a shimmer,
listless loungers clutch
for light but branches
regard us impatiently,
bristling.

Khaki swimsuit stuck to you
languidly as blue
hills trip into the horizon
and little waves our
bodies make.

Be brave, clench fists

Blue sky, thirteen years old and
I remember
cold hands that forgot how to hold.
I remember
the heavy languor of pallid limbs and
I remember
death.

Something cut me loose,
untethered me.
I am no longer normal.
Branches of pain spread
their scaffold over me,
but I am just a fallen leaf,
a broken twig,
snapped.

Every day is just a
stumble,
just a navigation
of the potholes left in your wake.
Not so sure-footed on
the winding road but
led by blinding lights.

Nothing will ever be

the same again,

but right down in
the dark depths,
right down in the
muddy hollow,
tentative tendrils clutch
for light.

And so
I emerge from the storm,
a fresh shoot.

Delicate at first but
stronger by the day.

Submersion

Everything is different
when I’m under;
just a dim gaze looking
up through the murk.

Stop the fade.
The clatter of
voices in my head
is waking up.

Tracing the streets
untouched by timid yellow;
wan gleam of
fallen leaves and taxi-tops.

Wilted fingers clutch
for colour,
but the slow wither
leaves me just a husk.

My brittle lining
shivers for the slash;
marbled veins will
run with red.

So far from the surface;
oh my brother,
I, am lost
underneath.

The Blacksmith

Forge
of smouldering stars;
a corporal collision
leaking sparks.

Clash
of bodies in the fire;
a blistering touch
melting moments.

Writhe
of limbs in the dark;
a limpid varnish
smearing skins.

But scraping spines,
flake a
rust-rimmed
rain of red
and we dissolve
into ashen frames,
coaled now,
just dust.

The bruised sky
cries for our fossils,
trying to
rem
ember.

Tide Together

Under the surface
they flounder
in the murk,
pulled down through
dark lapping,
lost in the churn.

But a sudden
upward thrust
breaks the mirror.
Gasping, a
bright emergence into
damp confusion.

Now, clinging to
each other,
limpet-fingered,
it breaks over them, but
they do not
slip underneath.

Battered,
yet buoyant,
the cold swirl
cannot touch
them now.