She longs for the refuge of dark interiors. The Tiffany lamps and plush burgundy of city bars, torn between Aqua Velva and a Dirty Martini. In the gloom, eyes gleam and lies bloom unseen on dry lips. Dimly lit, anyone will be someone.
She dreams of peering through the gap in the chintz curtains as his family coils, roils in the blue flicker of a widescreen. He sips tea from a cracked mug, The Best Dad in the World embossed in faded gold. Dimly lit, anyone will be someone.
She imagines the marine glow of their bed -room, matching furniture and fluffy robes. The green drapes smother the rumble of traffic on Harbour Road. Newborn light pales his face when he smiles. Dimly lit, anyone will be someone.
She craves the murk of musty hotel rooms. A silk scarf cast over a single lamp, sheets and limbs tangled, the acrid taste of him on her lips. His sleeping foot dangles, sock still on and she sees a hole in the sole. Dimly lit, anyone will be someone.
She recalls the tobacco heat of his BMW, leather beneath her thighs. The dashboard flickers like broken glass. Fireflies swirl in the beam of headlights. Morse code. His face turns away when he speaks. Dimly lit, anyone will be someone.
She longs for dark interiors, not this naked white room. Fluorescent light beats down and she shrivels under their weight like a moth who finally made it to the moon. She’s waiting. She’s been here so long, she forgets why. Brightly lit, someone will become no one.
The ambulance man with striking
green eyes stroked the inside
skin of her teenage arm as she lay
strapped (for her own safety) on the reeking
canvas of another NHS. If you’re a lucky girl you’ll meet Jimmy!
She thought he was, maybe
trying to be nice (but those alien
fingers were electric…) No comfort
blanket, suspended in L10 skeletal
traction, legs akimbo and knicker
-less (for her own hygiene), a monster pain
-ted by Hieronymus Bosch. The male charge
nurse with watery grey eyes brought gin
secrets in a Barr’s Cream Soda bottle, hot
take-away through her open
window of gritty nights.
She thought he was, maybe,
trying to be nice (but gin made her sick,
she liked Babycham).
The glass half
-full on the sunny side. Cheer up, might never happen,
said the porter with lizard pink
eyes taking her down to a strip
-lit basement, down corridors
lined with conduits. If you’re a lucky girl you’ll meet Jimmy!
She waits alone on a purple stage, cut
-out flat, white and black, lacking
a dimension. She waits for shape,
for music, for lightening to spark a pulse.
Her icy skin trussed in silk and lace,
satin pumps on lifeless feet.
There’s a feather in her hair,
twisted into careful curls. She’s cold
on center stage. Acid whispers
in the wings like sour dough rising.
Her fan flairs and she begins to dance.
The day the waves came,
she went out looking.
Rocks, boats slashed by winter,
White Rose half-painted on the quay.
The beach swirled diamonds,
wind down-turning creels.
The Café closed tight,
shuddering on the line
where elements collide.
The Orkney Ice Cream sign
askew by the door, keening
like a gull with a broken wing.
In the bothy he burned
a fire of peat, warming
fingers, interwoven. He breathed
the secrets of seashells into her ear.
The sky splintered beyond the window pane,
words drowning as oceans swelled a crescendo
of herring-bones and the lighthouse slowly crumbled.
Note 1:- a bothy is the term used for a small hut or refuge in the wilderness of Scotland.
Note 2:- Collision is an attempt at a concrete poem…the shape on the page is supposed to represent a lighthouse…well, more or less!
One day you’ll write about us, you said on your last visit.
A starry love story, a film…
Betty Blue meets Quadrophenia, you said. I said,
but how will it end? As I left you at Central Station you said, I’m missing you already. I said, never, remembering silence as we drove deep through Kielder forest.
There’s a bond between us
that can’t be broken, you wrote in your last letter.
Blood, sex, magic you said. I said,
I’m sick of bleeding
and magic’s not real
and there’s more to life than fucking.
I want to be cherished, You said, that’s cloying.
Sometimes, naked on star-less nights
I Google your name and wait.