Want

I could write a thousand songs about this town. I could stand on the edge of salt, and let my voice soar as I once did. Hazy days and milkshakes. Down by the canal, walking on the edge of sanity and gravity. I stand in the mud and sink to my ankle; the filthy water to washes my feet clean again.

Walking over the tall hills, we dart in and out of the wreckage of ships tossed miles inland by unknowable carnage. On a high place, where you once took a sledge to the brink of death and back and where we first fondled our private parts in mutual admiration, we take a short cut through the battered remains of a super-tanker now beached, pathetic and broken. This metal whale, back snapped over the brow of the hill, rests in permanent sorrow. Sobbing rust, the birds flock to peck the holes and broken windows. Inside, the walls are black and liquid. We carefully step around the pairs of identical boots arranged neatly side by side that once contained feet before everything was consumed.

You carry a picture in your pocket of a flower which you frequently gaze at even when surrounded by hundreds. You hum soft songs and I have to wrap my arms tightly around your waist when you try to leap from the edge of the cliffs to grab the setting sun and dunk it into the horizon. You’re an idiot and so am I, happy and contented with our legs dangling over the ruined railings of a slowly disintegrating leviathan. Everything pans back. The landscape rushes underneath. It lifts and takes off and we get our first glimpse of a flat vale bordered by tall ridges, pockmarked by the ineffective remains of a brutal day.

I remember long walks, discussions for hours that started nowhere and ended up lost. Meaningless journeys bred meaningless conversations and we were never happier. You massage my shoulders as I carry you piggy-back and I can feel the sweat running from your exposed chest onto the back of my neck when you reach in for a tight embrace. Your bad coffee breath in my ear gives me shivers of ecstasy; all the hairs on the back of my neck rise up to catch the briefest flick of your eyelashes.

I deliberately wear clothes you hate because I love when you take the piss out of me. I deliberately feign ignorance because I love it when you explain things to me. I deliberately act shy because I love it when you feel powerful enough to lean in for a kiss and dominate me.

Now, it is time to leave another rain-sodden note in this pissing trudge. All around me I can hear the pat of the drizzle. Mist obscures everything in a wide circle so I can pretend I am the eye of the storm. I’m nailing notes to trees with shit poems for shit imaginations; people who will pluck them up and marvel at the surrealism of it all. I release helium balloons with pieces of chocolate or underwear tied to them. At night I leave my nice warm house and sleep in ditches or under hedgerows, except I never sleep because I’m cold and uncomfortable and scared of things crawling over me and laying eggs in my eyes.

Clambering inside the ruins of an old passenger jet, you sit in the captain’s chair and rest your bloodied feet on the rudder controls. I watch you as you try to predict the little flows of blood that run down your calves to the backs of your knees, dancing around the stubble. The sun beats in through broken windows. We are perfect for this time; unwashed feral beasts, deadly with stones in slingshots and self-medicating on hallucinogens and terrible wine. When I close my eyes, I feel music drift in and out of my ears as though I am lying on a beach immersed in an oncoming tide. I will levitate and take this wrecked bird with us.

I can smell the iron in your blood.

 

*

Everything is rotten inside him. His teeth are soft and shapeless, his body is lumpy and irregular. Nail him to a cross and even the crows would fly away. He wouldn’t burn. He will not fly. He is a plucked and torn feather, broken at the stem and irregular at the source. No continuity, no feeling just pretention and immaturity. His own flesh merely tolerates him.

He cries like a weeping anus, and I have no sympathy with his flagrant self-destruction. I look at him with contempt; piss streaks down his jeans and tears forming deltas over his crumbling skin. I sit down on a rusted barrel and cup my chin in my hands, watching as he runs through a large bed of nettles like no one has ever done that before. He wants to know if this is enough. He’s pleading for me to tell him that everything will be fine from now on. My heart drops through my diaphragm and catches somewhere near my spleen where it tears a small hole for bile to leak out. I begin frothing at the mouth as I stand, and every one of my slow, deliberate steps shatters the bones in my legs like fluorescent strip lights hurled out of skyscrapers. I’m wobbling on marrow as I draw back a fist of stone.

I finally stop when the tip of his scalp and jaw form a viscous pincer around my elbow. I cease tunnelling and begin to tremble. He hangs limp from my outstretched limb, his arms swinging pointlessly at his sides. All around us, the trees lean in for a closer look and then hustle away with a rattling hiss of dried leaves and creaking bark. Carefully I lower my arm and he slides gradually away, past my wrist before falling like a shroud. I form my thumb and forefinger into a circle and hold it up over the sun just to see my dark red-purple hand glowing. It’s not long before I remember I have no legs anymore and no pelvis either. I shatter like plate glass and tumble into pieces at your feet which gently flutter and wave in the wind like a torn flag.

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