‘I wish I were a blade of grass so I could dance all day,’ whispered the girl.
Her face points upward,
a wing of light
against the city’s blackened cheek.
Embark upon the ancient spice trails
of her breath,
follow the Li River
and set sail to Elephant Mountain,
a frozen emerald
shivering in the lemon sunset,
like the ripples in rock-pools
at her feet.
Step free from dream’s edge
and pull down the sky,
‘rice grows and the land is invisible,
by the pomegranate water,
in the clear air
over Li Chiang’.
Hidden limbs grip him
tight against her marriage tree
like a silk-tied waist.
‘neath the ebb and flow of a tide,
your water-bitten skin
dripped in night’s inkwell.
Lay under her
and she’ll have seen the sun once,
warmer shoulders parting waves,
two eyes wide like cities
blanketed by stars,
breathing the same sky,
but in search for clearer seas.
She washes over you,
and half-light at dark
in Earth-spun sleep,
she’ll carry you from the shore
to set you free,
let you leave
like driftwood on the ocean.
…I also fuck you in atoms. So far inside you I perforate Earth’s womb. Planetary shift, I shoot stars; my half-erect penis, a flicker against the unseeded embryo lying comatose in this baron, sprawling space. You don’t clutch-and-fuck back. Do you even feel?
I have just received confirmation that there will be an exhibition of my writing at The Bankside Gallery, London, in April. Needless to say, I am tremendously excited – watch this space!
“I love you in atoms,” I said.
I cannot tell you how it felt when I found you’d gone. You left no note, no footprint to say you came and went in the time between breaths. You took your words with you, smeared my notebook with stiff white paint so I’d no longer know how it felt to be inside you.
You should have taken the picture. I don’t need it to see you, or the way your coffee hair wisps and falls and cradles the perfect heart of your face. The loose-locked frame for your wine-barrel eyes scarring the underside of my own. “Make me black and white,” you’d say. And I did, but still you would breathe colour into the absolute; into the knitted wicker of everything you touched.
I’d watch the summer breeze weave its arms around you like no lover, writer or poem ever could. And how the moon would frame itself on your windowless wall just to watch you sleep. While I mixed brown, you blurred my palette of blues and reds with your thinly fleshed-out form and glossed our canvas in plump shocks of purple and mauve.
The rain beside me smashes like glass. I crack my fingers and remember the way you liked to pierce the crust of your crème brûlée with the cold tip of a spoon. I won’t shake you from these crystal bones; I know I loved you.
“I loved you in atoms,” I said.