Empty.

I’m looking for something to believe in

I’m looking for a sign

Dan hasn’t come back to tell me

it’s okay to be alive

Making old bones is something

maybe I never thought you’d do

It’s all mediocre highs and lows with a disappointing flatline view.

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you’re too young to die.

dad said something about us all being stardust
so maybe that’s you now?
or maybe you’re swirling.
i want to believe in something other than darkness forever.

i imagine you as a feeling
i imagine you as the feeling of sudden elation
you’re synapses
you’re things i’ve not even heard of.

you’re the smell of babies and fresh hedges
you’re my heart feeling like it’s about to explode with sadness
you’re my chest expansion
you’re your accidental death and my wish more than anything to rewind time and say, “please, don’t”.

you’re the empty voids i stare into now while i experience elevated existentialism
you’re my life changed forever
you’re too young to die.

animals bounding.

standing in the crockery isle crying in Sainsbury’s
i can’t even begin to think about Christmas
or the reality of a wasp breaking out of it’s cockroach host.

we all get ill, Mary
from time to time
sometimes we don’t know how long it goes on for
and sometimes we die
but everything looks different from the top of a double decker bus
if that’s any consolation?

i wrote a list of joyous things so i could read them over and over:
animals bounding
trampolines
animals bounding on trampolines
but nothing quite as rousing as a gradient sky
blue to white and back again

now then! it’s a proper pickle, this
a doctor-doctor untangling predicament
too many arms atop locked hands
too many limp squealing bodies

and where’s my man on the ground:
my Paul Rudd on the floor?
with his dirty river of diamond rings
flushed right down the plughole

Daniel won’t even eat anything with a face
so what are we to do about anything now?

Strings Attached.

There are strings as far as the eye can see,
Between you and me.
They disappear around corners,
They wrap around memories I vaguely remember existing.
There are clusters of webs in the streets between our houses where we walked, ate, kissed
And there are long silky chords through routes in Soho and Peckham
Stretching and expanding
Reaching out.
And you are the at the end of the strings
Like a dog walker at the helm of unruly animals
Cutting them and expelling them
While I tug-of-war them just to get close to you.

Stardust (draft 1)

Another night in the Midlands after a heavy weekend of drugs

and you are there to catch me in fresh bed linen, a square meal and cups of tea in bed.

Reminds me – You were there to catch me when I learned to ride a bike. One hand a foot behind my back.

Very little is said about the past, now we talk about the future.

You bring it up like it’s around the corner, crack open another bottle of gin and talk about big things like we’re going down in a plane crash.

Listen, I still can’t bring myself to tell you how much heartache you caused while we bounced between three houses more than a decade ago.

When you disappeared we scooped her up, brought her back from the edge and guided her back to the light.

You’re welcome.

In my experience people who talk about death feel it coming

Feel it’s weight heavy on the brain.

You cried once when you had cancer

Even those who struggle to open up do one day

What’s it really worth now anyway?

At some point in the future you’ll just be stardust.

You’ll be chairs, paper, hair follicles, cotton; twinkling, burning, drifting. Ephemeral.

I look around the living room and feel weightless on the sofa.

You gulp down the remainder of your gin and switch the TV on.

Brian Cox and his Wonders of the Universe

As we watch the swirling beautiful world in silence

You turn to me and say,

“We are all stardust. You. Me. That sofa. Everything.”

Oh god, tell me it’s ok.

Look for the blackest thing and pick it out

I bet it’s a hairdryer

Yes, I am eating alone at this restaurant

And yes, I do like the feeling of being punched in the face

Did I tell you?

There are words for things I don’t even know about yet

Which is distressing because I want to know everything immediately.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether being alone is good or bad because it can be both, surely.

Do you understand?

Writing in first person is all I know because I’ve never been anyone else.

The feeling of walking into a room and forgetting what you went in for is how I feel about life now.

Oh god, tell me it’s ok.