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I remember him at odd moments: like when I shift to the front of my chair, pulling my chin back

and relaxing my neck. I’ve been crouching at work all morning.

Why it’s these moments? I don’t know. They are everywhere: tiny flashbacks towards shared

memories I thought were long gone. As if returning home early, spotting him in the next room, I

watch him through my mind’s eye. He hasn’t noticed me yet. He is focused on something in his

hands. This, like countless splinters, is frozen in time.


I hesitate. I know I must close the door and there is no way around it. Each moment creeps up on

me like a presence. Constantly there, only I forget. To linger is to point down. Stage one of ‘will

this ever bloody stop’.


There are splinters to be extracted still, with sure hands and sharper knives.


Poem for things that didn’t work out


This is for the door to the place 

you thought would be yours

and the sound when it


You stared as though it would open again,

what expiration date for hope?


You left and the sun shone like irony. 


There is a skyline hard to see from down the road.


This is for the buildings never built:

skyscrapers, temples,

an elephant-shaped triumphal arch.

Dreams of architects

dreamt to life but vapor before the 

night was out.


You sympathize. Look up to rooftops and

down to gas pipes in the ground.

See drafts turned real instead.


Perhaps there’s not enough room for 

everything to work.

This is for the rings 

taken off, 

melted down,

buried in the back of cupboards until 

the cleaners came.

There is no “failed” marriage - just those

that didn’t work out

in the end.

It’s not their fault you put gold on them

when gold outlives people.


As you wrap old pictures in used gift-paper

you take a minute to be sad

but who would you send them to?

Pack them up with your soaked tissues and self-pity.

Addresses change, people do.


If it hurts, it’s unworking itself. Re-writing itself.

There’s not enough audience for every story to be told. 


This is for the houses too high.

The rockets too heavy.

The hearts too full.

The wounds too deep.

This is for the works of art too lacking in craft.

This is for every single idea

that ever was 

and turned to dust.


It is a graveyard orbit

more beautiful

in which they circle.


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