LITTLE KING

Little King

Needs the calm of height

The distance of a rooftop in morning.

My teeth have the same keenness as yours

My hands the same grip

Uneasy tender violence

A need to be squeezed so all the spaces

Fit, everything held as it should.

Choking reverence.

I can’t help thinking of all the people that will hold you

In ways you can’t bear to be held.

I will hold these visions of you

When you’ve grown beyond them

Become a titan

Your red lump crown

Finger crammed in mouth

Asking for help

With flying a feather

I will hunt for you as they hunted for a wren come winter

A royal smallness to hold Holy

Because I know my Holy has a kick like yours

I know mine comes with claws

Clamouring at my chest

The way you beat your head against the windowed door

Until it was smeared with blood.

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THE SPACE BETWEEN

The spaces

Hold more

The density

Of a pause

A rest in

The score

Even from afar

The moon

Can shift the sea

With Her absence

The pull of missing

Tiny tendons

As translucent as spit strings

Webbings of DNA

Constellations between

Lone wandering atoms

There is a pull

Between each of us

There is a silence that seals us

 

MERCY

I can hear the sea

Three floors up in Paris

A dripping thunder

A black out lightning strike

Our shoe-box sized flat

Filling with water like a tank

Bloating my dreams

With floating fish

Eyes wide in ecstatic mortality

Rising

From their own bodies

Like reverted raindrops

Millions of ghosts ascending

Into the gravitiless hook

Of a night sky

Inhaling its own clouds

 

JONAH

He is rock and how untouched

Bound tight in his own permanence

The moon’s indifference.

He envies the hard, shining pebbles, licked smooth

And spat like teeth from the Sea’s lips.

 

Somewhere in all that skull ringing blue

There’s a wail sifting through gloom

Barnacled lips agape

Her tongue a harpoon

Guts a great net

She can teach him to bleed with the moon,

In blindness

From between her pillaring ribs

Grieve every wick he has lit

Every slick of soap he’s scrubbed himself with

And beg his forgiveness.

 

She will dismantle him to shingle

Fill his pink hollows with echoes

Of the tide

There will be parts of him and Her

On shores that know only too well of oil spill

 

WHEN GHOSTS SLEEP

I can’t help where I go in my sleep

Up your moss clogged gutters

To suckle the smoky spit from the concrete

Of your sill

The window you will open to breathe

Some nights I wind inside your nostrils, down your windpipe

A snake in possession of your insides

But some nights I will only sit beside you mouthing wordless songs

Other evenings sneak under your covers to await your return

So I can wrap myself around your sleeping form

A cocoon of not quite tangible body

I wonder if you do the same with me

An infinity

Of you within me within you within me

We don’t coach journey here

We travel by submarine

Arrange to meet just before unconsciousness

Where the Ocean takes us

Back to back staring out at monsters

Rippling behind glass

Daylight hanging before fangs

Whales the size of Regent Street

And sharks shining like wet Birmingham concrete

SUBJECT

I often forget

The mirror isn’t camera

There’s a hacker under the lenses

Of my corneas

Shooting me paralysed and pickled in snapshots

Of someone else’s desire,

My own skin rendered a suit

I’d rather crawl free of like pupa.

 

There are a lot of things that send my vision spinning:

Deafening offences

By women

And the screamingly obvious ways we’ve gagged their honesty.

 

Men’s eyes catcalling behind their lids

How can a look be so loud

And the subject so silent?

When did we forget to look quietly?

Catch the softness of an afternoon in the garden

The unspoken amongst the leaves

The bare tangibility of an unmade face in the morning