Poetry

Say it

Say it. Let the sound fill your mouth

like curry, full on flavour and spicy

enough to set your breath on fire.

Then spit it out. Let them know

the wine is sour,

and the alcohol content cannot make up for it.

Bottle their gasps for later,

you can use them at the lightshow

when they try to blot you out.

And, with their retorts,

take off your cloak and mask

so their ice-words melt from your brightness.

Show them the spectrum,

not the gradient.

Poetry

Skeleton

‘Hold out your hands,’ she says

and places the silver key on my palms,

it fits across both perfectly. ‘It can

open any door you choose, anywhere.

Keep it close, always.’

 

So I swallow the key. Safe in my belly

it stays, and safe from my memory

until every door I face

declares it’s locked.

 

It can’t be. It can’t be.

 

The memory stirs and I try to regurgitate.

It doesn’t work, and the doors laugh.

 

From inside me, the key calls out.

Unlock.

 

The doors are silenced by my voice.

I swallowed the key

and became it.

 

Poetry

Rolling chances

How do you weave a web

if you don’t have a corner to claim as your own?

 

How do you spin the spindle

if there is no wheel or thread to be found?

 

How do you sing a note

when your voice is too worn to be heard?

 

And when do you have a chance

to raise your hand

when the forest is already crowded?

Poetry

Feigned Ignorance, test one.

Look away.

Our subject isn’t cool, isn’t warm, isn’t quiet, isn’t loud.

She is simply a passenger

journeying inside a tube filled with bubbles,

and hers is burst suddenly, tearing her from the pages of the novel clutched in her hands

to the attention of the male specimen, tipsy as a timer,

demanding her number.

As if she is a prized doll for collectors.

Politely, she refuses.

 

The male specimen does not like this. He accuses her of prudishness.

As if that’s his business.

None of the other bubbles burst while this is going on.

They are content, floating away; raised voices bounce off them,

pleading looks erased by blank stares.

 

Her stop is close, the tube is slowing.

Our subject can get away this time.

Next time, let’s take away her escape route and see what happens.

I’d like to think that all the bubbles would burst then,

but my colleagues say the probability is low.

We’re not placing bets.

Poetry

The looking glasses

Books are mirrors, some say

and I know that some of my

friends, when they look in them,

always see their reflection

staring back, as they’ve seen

since they were kids. Then

there are some, like me

who only see their reflection

when it’s blown up to such a size

that every pore, every pimple

and every uncertain smile

is visible, the words

behind the mirror irrelevant.

I even know people who

have never seen their reflections

on the mirror pages.

They keep thinking their reflections

don’t matter, maybe they’re broken.

But I know better. It’s

the mirrors that are broken,

and one day soon, they will

all be replaced with new ones,

so everyone can see themselves

in those precious tomes.