The skin of longing

I dream. I can channel
the dying
get out, get out,
I say. When I wake
I forget the names
of days.
Each day I call
The weeks lose
their boundaries.
Falling the sensation of
and flinch like a stutter.
Every day
when I walk past
the hospital
my eyes run.
I can’t stop them.
Close to the surface
the body is water.
Protect your loved
ones. The body
is fluids. Dry hands
are safe hands.
Snot sparkles
yellow globules
on the bus window.
The smell of urine
will hang on for days.
The paper will dispense one
thin square at a time.
The toilet will flush
Used condoms
decorate the town-
belt, a spill of seed
across daisies.
To leave your outline
press firm into
the warm earth.
Looking for rakish
I found his pubic hair
in my dictionary
pressed to recall
a whiskey question
mark, curved
as a phallos bird.
Sanguine. Heat
sucks at the marrow
a glut of phlegm.
The bed a rut I lie
in. Light spasms.
When the fever
wears me, my sweat
beads along the hem.
It is a scratchy fabric.
When night comes
we air our secrets.
We show each other
our scars.
Each to their own
of longing.
Open up
Open up and let me in.
There are guards
you say, all
along my borders
and they are armed
but you know
how to bribe them.
I want to know
who owns the fish
that swim in my shadow?
I hold. The past
clenched in me
and on. Lurking
you call it. When
I unscrew my head
sadness swarms
fruitflies in your face.
Blue at the edge
and it spreads
dark to the soft
middle. You won’t
believe the things
words have done
to me. Until I show you
the lines like gill slits
along arteries, main.
He always wrote
like that, I say
in upper case.
Each to their own
boundaries. I reach
and reach and nothing.
The nights are anaemic.
You can lick my tears
but it doesn’t make
you crying. Please stop
you say and I realise
I have been banging
all this time
against walls
that will not fall.
It’s nobody’s fault
you tell me
down the line, your voice
like a pulse in me.
But perhaps it is mine.
The fault. I am always there
you say. And if I knew
where there was
I would find you.

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