No sad lines tonight


One day for pretty things that won’t fade
No snapshot eyes and bold lines
to fevered press peony to page
As in other times in pressing plead

One day for beauty
One day for all things good
Only forever wonder
A day for jewelled sea
And ocean beds covered in pearls
“Hello, I…

Raw punch where sinew already bruised under ugly shades of purple crumples more to find bone. Still the girl hiding in woman flesh does not flinch but gives in, crumples somewhat inwardly, but distracted by the sight of predator wings above as head meets ground and eyes roll to clouds. Wet wet grass and fragrant meet the darkness of unkempt curls and flowering welts on her back, all pungent roses of deeper shades kissing earth. Fully supine on the leeward side of the cold damp hill, the rocky outgrowth of the sheltering cliffs encircle the sky. The confluence of eagles soaring overhead keep her eyes alight. The awe of above is wonder enough to draw pain away from cracked ribs and too swollen shoulders and the garden blooming on her back either side of the crimson river snaking down her spine. The girl’s eyes flutter in the woman’s face as Mercy disguised as a visiting breeze ministers to the cuts on her face while eagles soar above.

Have no idea where I was going with this. All I remember is that Gracie is a boy.

"In those days it was a lot easier to melt into wallpaper. Camouflage was an easy print to get hold of and disguise was not only possible but effective. Those days. Gracie had a protracted prepubescence …"


The something more teases at the knees while you go biting into chocolate with hints of juniper and chilli
and your eyes grow darker with every bite
First the lake had been revelation
Then the hills
they had been telling
the climb had been telling
You choose to forget and bite into chocolate with hints of brine and caramel notes
Amnesiac with curling lips both sweet and bitter
The something more tickling the backs of knees now makes for a thief’s exit;
A river
a walk at the blinking of night
a hastening from under new sheets
for distance from a warm tongue melting chocolate
Amnesiac with her back turned losing the day in sleeps again
It is a teasing and a tangle too fraught with danger to mouth remember
So the river
so the bend
and fingers pinching knees not to kick at seams or unravel
To jealous guard the something more until blue eyes wake up unafraid of lakes

You were too high

On the day that you moved entirely and too easily away
cloud cover was low ahead and shadows
flitted over sparse earth making green deep
like forests deep and the clouds
were low wisps (one cloud particularly)
floating dancelike vapors
moved by the urging of sun
(some call it wind)

You had a body once that could be touched with even calloused hands and rough
no need for feathers
enough for the rough and grab to claim hills in rolling hips

You had a certain grace about you
and even now through squinting eyes
your moves devastate gently in degrees
when that last bottle catches your reflection

There is a cloud suspended too low to be believed
but just high enough
as certain things just out of reach
and running further or faster won’t help elevate or break the curse of law
even though we never see it
see you bite into fruit to make it real


Some shadow still from that night,
that night haunts at the edges

”The running in your bones”

you whisper,
“Hollow bones for flight”

The heart beats with the running-

What makes us?

Adam was sleeping on the couch

Adam was sleeping and we weren’t.

Expletive expletive expletive

No, say gentle words again

Overturn this

You said you know the deep,

”Depths wired for flight and the dive”

What makes us?
(i am no escape artist)
I, I…break break break

what speech for water on the lungs-
What speech for this?

London outside, neighbour on the terrace/
Adam sprawled three doors down in colourless sleep and the world waking outside in sounds of rustling pigeon wings, dust-gray city wings

The spaces that haunt this northern morning invade the waking/
the past in pictures, this nightmare, this beautiful haunted morning

Blue again, yet pinned beneath an onslaught of gray

Overturn this (I cannot)

water sounds and no breath/
flooding waters

your voice and the spaces between us/
your lips and nonsense words

my running feet my hollow bones

If you could hear this,
“Hear this.

"You are inside."

”You are the lungs and the depths,
in bones, in running feet,
you are inside,”

”You are inside.”

This invaded morning turns to noon

and I cannot wake up from you

(I never wake up from you).

"we are dead stars"

dead stars for scientists fraying threads
watch the universe & tell this story;
iron was the first violence
iron in the blood

eating rapture, we
know better
know water before metal
when this eye looked towards Cygnus and Lyra
when we floated down the gulf
some boat in the night
radiating heat;
warming the night with swallowed fire
on the deck of a lonely dhow
we were stars
bronze gold bronze;
arms and legs in constellation
you liked the small of my back
under the sun at midday
i. sun sun sun, so many suns
ii. gold in the blood
iii. snakes in the water
green green waters turning
warm like copper

night sky, you were happy and heaven’s dome was deep purple
swirling milky
we were happy
and the iron in our blood made us
golden faces and bronze skin
and the iron in the blood made us strong
made copper in our hair bind us tight
iron in our legs
we were happy sailing under stars
or were we them?

every star chart keeps us hidden
there was a mirror then
there is a boat in the sea
boat becomes mirror
becomes sun sun sun
and the night sky
and fire in the blood
and stars
stars above and in the waters
stars mirror stars;
iron contains us

but for the violence of the night sky
i had not seen your eyes
or held their gaze in August



Having been home to an eagle and sparrow
i swallowed feathers i swallowed feathers
Wrapped up tightly round this little finger
you are the coil and the slither and hissing
break break break
Who can escape?
Who can make up for the parts that are missing?
Talons and beaks and scales and feathers
Nails and teeth and claws and feathers
Teeth and talons and beaks and hissing
and serpents in gardens and girls that are missing
and feathers and feathers and feathers and feathers
break break break


The mouth falters
a hesitation of lips
a subsiding
a lazy tongue

Truth at the tips
Truth in the margins

Mountain ridge to traverse
Mountains to cross
Lightning must strike

A storm needed
a thickening storm
Stir it like thick soup
Stir it like stew

Here are the arms
Here are the legs
Floppy middle
Lazy in the belly

Lighting to carry


Speech in feathers like swallowed cotton sprigs tear
and smother
an open mouth found inviting
No story warning haunting,
No axeman in the fable
That is a crow there in the distance,
there is a clever corvid watching
But no one speaks amazement
No one-

It is no kindness to round out downy vowels in hopes of trapping air;
But I swallow feathers like a starling’s last hope for home
makes a nest there at the back of my throat.
You were a robin then-
You were searching