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:
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
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
in which they circle.