Where to next?
When the obsession has died
when, inevitably, I’ve realised
that all I have is here at home

That all I need to recover 
is to be left well alone

And, too, that jealousy is useless:
if you want still to live like me
then work as I do;
then sleep as infrequently

See how long you last
then, please, come back to me 

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Do you think about my skin?
When I’m gone, I mean
or even when I am there
counting every freckle, every scar, every hair
or am I still alone
in my perpetual visual dissection
of eyelashes, of clothes, every intonation
every second I think you might look back
when we are done
I am sure still that you do not
so for now, dear, nor do I


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It’s curious and it’s devastating
that my favourite things
these broken legs and aeroplanes
drunken 3ams and missed trains
pretty friends and vague spontaneity

Will be taken with time
will be replaced by

– Well, I don’t yet know
which is what scares me
that those venues and bands I’ve known
that glass bottles and new friends
might be gone

With nothing new to take their home


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I won’t make that mistake again
thinking a foreign tongue
might be a naïve one

Thinking that I could be safe
moments before I am bruised

I don’t forget – but it isn’t enough
to be distrusting and malicious
when a wall is what makes me
vindictive, calculating, heartless

I won’t wake in a bed again
with bad news to relay to friends
and I won’t let a soul touch me
which is safer, in the end

And you can call me cold –
but at least I’m whole alone

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Will we ever settle
to a  comfortable lull
to confidence in ourselves
and an easy, rolling love

One not marred by our failure
and preoccupation with success

Could I, just for one day, be
guiltless, free, not thinking
of what I want to achieve

And might we raise children
unscarred by their parents’ mistakes?

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Long Beach




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