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
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
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
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 two people
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 ghosts in the machine: God —
I never thought I’d miss you
half as much
as I do.