Three Words

We’ve all met them.

They permeate certain

parts of the air.

Some of us breathe them in,

some of us too open to speaking, engaging.

Then they talk to us.

Tangling inside,

worming away,

segmenting,

they make us listen.

We can’t shut them out.

 

One is a sepia photograph,

with tendrils to the past,

turning happiness a different colour.

Memories invoke such desire,

an agonising state

where one of your rooms has been locked

and inside; a fire.

Burning all this time,

but you have neither key or water.

He won’t let you put it out.

 

One is an ocean,

at such a hue

to make you think of nothing,

and everything.

Find meaning in all things

but also no consequence

in anything.

You can only take the well trodden path

of the lonely, sad and pensive.

This is a quiet place,

locked away too.

Nothing moves in a straight line.

He won’t let you speed up.

 

There’s another,

a darker being.

Animalistic.

Less careful,

more powerful.

I don’t believe I’ve met him.

Perhaps I’ve seen him,

his back turned

or felt his presence close by.

Maybe he’s searched and I’ve avoided his eye.

I hope he never catches me with full glare.

He doesn’t talk,

simply turns all the lights off,

replaces them with dimmer bulbs

that can flicker to life

when he wants them too.

He’s a destroyer,

the two his helpers.

 

It’s that time of year again,

an end and a beginning.

The time when you’re meant to make things happen.

But I will probably visit a park,

one with a view,

sit on the swing

and hopefully see something new.

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Time Is Distance

In the sickly-lit, clogged up contagious space that was the shopping centre; you were there telling your friend you had to pack jelly cups for the trip to Brisbane.

I floated by, anxious, not bothering to say hi.

That day I had mixed sleeping pills and energy drinks, pretending I was messed up. And I had gone across the road from my house to where palms were often rubbed together. There were no shoestrings on the power lines but I was pretty sure I knew. Left there with less money than I knew what to do with. Decided I’d spend it on a movie, something sad and arty.

I felt especially guilty when I passed you, your beanie firm on your head, soft copper hair curling around your cheeks; clinging delicately like spider silk. A small whiff of your smell reached me. Well it was probably your shampoo but I still liked it. Soap and berries.

My eyes remained lidded as I grew more tired and a cloud continued to carry me. I saw the policeman pop up in front of me like a funny friend’s scary surprise. My expression must have puzzled everyone. I tried to smile politely at him while my face was stricken as I turned my head to your voice calling my name behind my shoulder. In my mind I was clean, he had nothing on me but I felt my right hand clawing absently at my back pocket in panic and then…

Then I was falling. I was falling sideways onto the cold store floor and just like everyone else; I seemed to be watching myself.