I give you bones wrapped in blushes –
Trembling in maroon
And hypnotised by the plughole lines
Leading me into your fingertips.
The air is photograph still.
You hold my hips and watch me
Turn to a gaunt, shivering bruise
Beneath you. Slowly,
You lower yourself
Down from above.
Compressing plural into singular,
Our flesh arranging as tightly as muscle.
I trace blueprint shadows in the dark.
Your sighs roll away my eyes
And hide them in the back of my head.
I am little more than sweat
Layered with blindness.
But I can shape you like hot clay.
My thumb presses the hollow of your
Temple, summoning gasps
From deep until they push
Against the underside of your skin.
Here, I can hold you as mine.
My pale devotion held close.
And I don’t want to let go.
I feel how we are:
Panting and breathless,
Choking on the recycled white of the other,
And the rhythm of us shakes the sky.
It’s like you can open my chest with temper.
I’ve never known pain that spreads like ivy,
That grows in hot, poisonous unrest,
That tightens around my flesh like masonry,
But you know how to run your fingers
Through my trembling branches of ribs
And splinter each bone-like twig. You linger
On each nerve, ending. You search in my skin.
I want you to dig down. Find my origami heart
Of disjointed angles and let it ache
In your smaller hands. Pull me apart
With double-edged lips, I am yours to take.
Because even though each wound sings you vicious,
I still crave the sting of your citrus kisses.
He was hers and his eye sockets throbbed
Like two syncopated hearts.
She took him in, biting into the soft.
Perfectly, she captured his body.
She tasted him, she pressed him.
This was an interrogation.
He was held in the black without a lamp-lawyer
And he blinked to no effect.
The deeper dark of her open ‘O’ searched for answers,
So she sunk down and through him like an anchor.
The wake of her died above.
She wrapped him in sensation.
He filled her completely
And spluttered animal moans to hold her attention.
She found honesty
In the sounds tumbling
From his tongue.
She wanted him to know
That she shared no reminders.
Sometimes, she loved him.
Then, just for her, he burst like a ripe balloon
And shattered every night into dawns.
I caught you once, trying to dissolve.
The water cupping you with candlelight
And the flames flickering incantations –
You punctured a quiet ring of shadows
As a dwindling in the dark.
You had sunk yourself in the bathtub
Trying to escape, kicking below the surface
And shaping the sinless fluid around you
As your last compromise: an urban night-lake.
You bathed between the porcelain lips
And bubbled for rebirth.
The surface tightened above
Until your lid on the world was taut
And you were sealed away.
And then you pushed, towards breath’s edge.
Immersed in a warm vat of underworld,
Disappearing into pale ripples
With your eyes closed.
I watched your hair wave goodbyes
While the tiles echoed like sirens.
I stood there, almost alone
In that airlock of cascading waterdrops,
Scrutinised by splintering futures
As condensation dripped down the walls
Like freely abseiling wet spiders
With refracted hyena eyes.
Each enclosing droplet, a tear
Brimming with imperatives.
You needed me to embody saviours
With my trembling hands –
But you were womb-smothered,
Submerged, dulling heartbeats, lost
Weeping naked-open from your wrists
And my body was a still purgatory,
Hearing the muted thuds reverberating upwards
While you waited; underwater, urging
For me to become the same shade of void
So I could join you in the below
And we could dissolve and emerge together.