Cleaner

Feeling Sealant.

Dishwasher Hope.

Until I’m gleaming,

You’re my soap.

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Spite

Bitter like strong tea,

He sits and stews.

The phone’s glassy surface

Looks as deep as still bayou.

 

“Spite is a pointless exercise”,

his mother told him,

fanning her hot-meat legs.

The sun was brilliant with ill-will.

 

Enmity encloses.

Gracefully, it falls around him.

Tea too strong to drink

Becomes pointless.

The Lack

He carries the cross

And leaves awkward footprints.

I feel uncomfortable

To be walking in the man’s wake.

The father walks with two sons by his side

But I see only him.

 

Like a bad word

The Lack catches my breath.

It scratches an itch on my chin

Shrugs it’s shoulders,

“What can you do?”,

And puts lead in my stomach.

 

The cross means nothing to me.

The weight is real

The wood is hard

But the vicar is so proud.

It’s Easter

And a sham ceremony carries me down to the beach

Where my Dad says a few words

Amid fire, big holes and bright colours.

Untitled. The start of something.

 

A dry eyelid shuddered open, breaking through crust with an audible crack. In the empty space beyond comprehension, the sleeper sighed. It was a noise like a thousand dancing windstorms. When she rose, her strange body creaked painfully; it had not moved in a millennia. As she took in her surroundings, memories thundered back into her head. The cracked walls, the hard dirt floor, and in the centre of it all, the basin. The beautiful construct looked just as out of place as it had when she had begun her sleep, all shimmering black rock that sang with power. She staggered towards it on screaming muscles and collapsed onto it. The liquid inside began to stir itself with increasing violence, until nonsensical currents fought with each other on it’s surface. The Sleeper plunged a hand into it’s cool depths, and saw the three that had called her awake.

***

The two women sat across from each other, a fire snapping between them. Pine trees lined the clearing around them, the hot glow of the fire swaying between them.

“Well?” Said the younger woman. She was attractive, and dressed in clothes that suggested she had travelled a long way to reach this clearing. The other was wrapped in many layers of cloth and skins, which she pulled tightly around her with wrinkled arms.

“I must have another taste, then I can say.” The reply came from the darkness underneath a hood. The voice was deep, cracked, though carried strength on every word. The younger woman stood.

“You have had enough from me. Tell me if she will survive.”

“Another taste.” One of the hands reached between the layers of material and pulled out a wooden cup. It was passed over the fire, and given to the younger woman. As the hooded head came closer, the flames briefly illuminated the face underneath, and the younger woman saw dull, blind eyes and haggard mouth filled with black teeth.

“Damn you.” She said, and left the clearing with the cup. The older woman began to sway back and forth, muttering strange words into the fire.

After some time, the other woman returned, holding cup. It now held a small amount of liquid, which steamed slowly in the cold night air. It was passed back over the flames. The younger woman seemed glad to be rid of it, but the older of the two held it as though receiving wine at communion. She sipped slowly from it, and the other woman winced and put a hand to her mouth. “Why? Why that?” She asked.

“It is stronger than anything. Even than blood.”

“It’s disgusting.” There was no reply to that. The older woman swilled the liquid around her mouth, savouring it. Finally, she spat it out, onto the flames, which seemed to swallow it with delight.

“Your daughter will survive,” she said at last. The other woman put her head in her hands, and began to shake with relief.

“Thank you, thank you.”

“I did nothing.”

“Even so. Thank you.” She stood up to leave.

“There is more.” Once again, she took a sip and began to pass it around her mouth. She made sounds in the back of her mouth, strange groans and clicks. The younger woman sat back down on the log.

“Please, tell me,” she said. The liquid was spat out, and again the fire swelled enthusiastically.

“She will survive, and she will grow, and a live a good life. You will not be in it.”

“What? Why not?”

“You will not survive this night.”

“You’re wrong.”

“It is you that showed me this.” She held up the now empty cup, then it disappeared back into her robes. The other woman stood once again. She looked as though she was going to jump over the fire, perhaps to throttle the fortune teller. Instead, she spat on the ground. “Piss-whisperer,” she said to the fortune teller. The older woman did not seem phased by the insult, and instead returned to her rocking and muttering. The worried mother left the clearing, and was hit by a car on the road the circled the pine forest.

The piss-whisperer knew what she was, and knew that she had a gift. She pulled back her hood and traced her bald scalp with her long nails. She did not enjoy telling people they were going to die, and lose money or loved ones, but they came to her for information. If they wanted to know, she could tell them. She felt the cool air on her skin, and warmed her hands on the fire. The wind whispered through the pines, and on it she heard a sigh. An endless sigh, that communicated impossible years of slumber. She looked up to the sky, with it’s infinite happenings, and felt someone looking on her with great interest.

 

***

Hair.

Ginger hairs hang themselves,

Like collapsed veins on the furniture.

They used to cushion the floor

And knot around my toes.

 

It has been a while.

Now it is only mine.

They collect in the corners,

Like rodents.

Insomnia.

Another night, another dry brain.

Crack my skull and watch it fly like ash.

 

My bed is thirsty like salt,

And the morning silver

Defines it’s hard edges.

 

I will have to wake,

Another day, another dry brain.

 

Father/Son

Skin hangs in bags around him,

He smokes in darkness.

Around the corner, his son

Waits for the lift home.

He tells himself,

There is nothing you can do about it.

In a city of men,

He would be the worst Dad.

His son would be the worst Son.

Self-induced desperation

Clings to him like nicotine residue

And stink.