A new poem, in a few parts, and it’s not very good, because I can’t concentrate.

I don’t have a name for this poem but it comes in several parts. My writing, when I’m completely overwhelmed with honesty and truth, really suffers. But that’s the job of a poet in these situations. I don’t want to get into it, all I know is this is my new poem. 

I packed the house away without you.
Bagged and wrapped each memory with
ideals of progression.
Your shirts were
then a friend administered 
               a flame
to your letters, I had no
               say, in the matter –
I only watched them cripple, and
               I tried to hold it all back. 

In the bedroom, which became 
               this ward,
clinicised; the sticky pads
               that lived on my body
that I tore off when peacefully discharged
               (they checked me, for
               ten hours, only my heart —
               until they checked my mind.)

I became obsessed with one shirt.
               I don’t recall its pattern, but
It was ether when pressed to my face
every day and every night
               over and over, and
over and over and over and over
               and over. I could not
breathe you out. The final 
ingestion left me short 
of breath. Like someone should 
               rub my back. 

Your shirt’s threads got thicker
               and try as I might to thin them out
they only ever
               intensified, and 
East Lancashire’s mill-smoke still
               leaves me feeling sick.

Love me the way I still love you. 
               guess what: I’m far flung into
space right now. I’m the burning ex-planet
               learning the sky
as it learns you in turn – shifting phantasm
               earthing out the sky
like friends
like lovers
like two people
               in love
making it               making love

So yes, perhaps I am the half-snapped vinyl of you
existing in splinters on the floor, smashed up when
it was thrown against a feature wall, a record
whose grooves I could not needle the tune from
not even one last time
no matter how much I tried. 

The bright purple light of potassium’s
thankfully died down in me now. I exist 
much more like lithium. You might not recognise 
me now – but it’s good – I’m that ether I mentioned
in that mix-CD inlay. 
I’m a million molecules
trying to find home
every day but – 
one caught – and took 
and I’d give it all to see you here. 

Yes, I am swathed in the 96% darkness
of missing you. 

Honey. I fit snug in the crags of
Yorkshire, and yes, it might pause me
for worship of the world; but I am seeing it
all (in absentia) for you. I am walking with 
the constant flicker of you, still by my side
like a sticking tape
like static
like ghosts in the machine: God —
I never thought I’d miss you
half as much

as I do. 


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