Doctor’s Office

it smells of vomit
and cleaning products
red chairs packed together
like in a theatre 
but the drama is only
unfolding in my head
today

no stage
for actors
to faint on
or cry on
or die on

just
the smell of vomit
sliding doors
a splash of depression 
mixed with human decay
bodies decomposing
in a brightly painted room

what a show
i think
as i try digging
deep within myself
for that spark
they told me
to cradle
and hold on to

Spiders

“What are you afraid of?” she asked.
I was silent for a minute,
then looked at her again.

“I am afraid of
growing old before my time,
of waking up one morning
and referring to my youth
instead of living it.

I am afraid of being mediocre,
I am afraid of not living
every day to the fullest.

I am afraid of growing old
without him.
I am afraid that he will stop trembling
under my touch one day.
I am afraid of growing old in my ways,
of burning up before my time.

That is what I am afraid of.”

She did not speak.

“Does this answer your question?”

She smiled, and sipped her coffee.
“A simple ‘spiders’
would have sufficed.”

Spoken Word

i watch them
speak

poets
with
funky
loud-mouthed
personalities

they speak
their words
accompanied
by wild
hand
gestures

suffering
for their art
in front
of an
audience

it happens
in a certain
tone of voice

and none of it
is like me

but the world
says art
is a certain way
and i know
i am another

i ask
if this means
my words
are less meaningful
simply whispered
in the dark

HSP

my body
is tired
it pays for
every single trip
outside
my comfort
zone

Queen

someone
sprayed
‘king’
on the side
of my
electricity box

i still think about it
when i clean the car
dad said
i was cleaning the car
when it happened

i place my hand
on the box
when we pass it
a force of habit
the symbol of
life
after death
where my bike
came to a halt
together with
my youth

a rush of blood
to the head
my disc man
stopped playing
i cried when i pressed
the resume button
days later
in my hospital bed

i smile when
i see the purple letters
and say something like
i think that should
say ‘queen’
instead

Notre Dame

collapsed bones
under history’s
weight

our lady
our sacred lady

flames rising from
your belly
as hearts break
on the riverbank

Howl

it rains all day
we call it poetry
as we soak in it
marching for
our mother
the one we pollute
and rape
with machines
that penetrate deep
into her core
and we still
have the audacity
to call home

enough is enough
we say
and we walk
to the beating
of the drum

sometimes a wave
of cries washes over the crowd
and the boy next to me

howls
howls
howls

while the girl
pours us tea
to keep
our bellies
warm

Nowhere

you cry
on the one three six
to nowhere

and it is painful
and raw 
and breathtakingly 
beautiful

your salt 
runs down my fingers
as i feel
the eight months
which passed 
between us
press hard
on both
our shoulders

the one three six
continues
to nowhere
when i ask
if i can hold you

and you nod
and say
you are the only one
who can

The Retirement Home

“You’ve got granny curtains,” my sister tugs at the fabric hanging in front of my new window a bit. They are white, and semi see-through, and they look exactly like the ones our nan used to have, except hers had crazy ornaments and little angel statues in front of them.

“All you need now is a geranium.” We laugh, and she tells me she is happy for me even though she doesn’t understand the choices I make. This, to me, is what sisterly love looks like. We had worked hard to get here.

I shine a light at her husband who is standing on a chair we had pinched from the restaurant downstairs. “A little to the left Becks, you’re shining in my face. I move the smartphone in the opposite direction. My brother in law tinkers a little more and then comes down for the chair. I hug him. “Thank you so much for installing that light, I cleaned the place yesterday and couldn’t see a thing.” “No kidding,” my sister smiled as she rubbed her finger across the dusty windowsill.

It’s my first night of sleeping in a retirement home. I am thirty-four years old, and my life is in shambles again. Or so I thought. Truth is that life did not go the way I wanted it to go. Instead, it went where it needed to go, where I needed to go. Home again, after five years of living abroad. Back home again to heal.

Mottingham

post no bills
tell no lies

i am home
i am home
i am home

walk on the left
stand on the right

i am home
i am home
i am home

i love you
the wind howls
loud
as the rain
kisses my face

family
is where
you know
the key will be
under the mat
regardless

i am home
i am home
i am home