Things to do every single day


Stephen’s telling me
about his grandfather
a bare-knuckle fighter
who used to box
with a handkerchief
tied around his balls.

Later in a suit
big flapping striped thing
and with the same handkerchief
in a breast pocket
he’d go to dance halls dance slow dances
and hold short girls close.

I can hardly hear him.
I’m running to the bathroom
and grasping my partner’s
porcelain waist.
I’m throwing up green water
as behind me a camera clicks.

Listen to the words
pouring out like lost courage, guts
She says: No lies this time
No if ands or buts.

I’m taking the red letter.
Trying to tell The Big Story.
Pretending that we’re both awake
alive in the morning glory.

She stands in my room
like its hers
lets the sheet
drop to the floor
It’s always
as it ever was
Me in love
and you unsure

I slip out
of myself
turn it down.
Kiss her heart
as though it’s unbroken.
Smile the sound
of cold grey eyes.
Speak to her silence
and remain unspoken