He was my bright light.

We used to go to the playground,

when I had my sobriety.

It was by the sea.

I’d watch him.

The surf boomed

behind us, sea salt

tousled our hair,

we were happy.

That was long ago.

I’m getting maudlin.



We have a drawer

full of bent spoons.

I have seen him

talk to them,

focus hard,

manoeuvre the metal

like he’s making origami.

It is clear

that should I disturb him

he’ll deny all knowledge,

so it has become normal

in this house

to stir one’s beverages

with twisted teaspoons.


She wears buttercup-yellow dresses.

They hug her figurine

ballet dancer’s body.

I am a big fan.

She has this way of twirling

on her heels, which is mildly obscene

yet unutterably lovely.

People might learn some grace

from her. It is what’s absent

in my life. Some true culture.


Let’s hold hands

snatch stealthy kisses

walk in the park

when it rains

throw out our strollers

feel our limbs surge with living

moisturise our crinkled skin

break into tremendous smiles,

like it was nineteen sixty-two.


Mother gets asthma.

It’s become serious.

She wakes unspeakably early.

There’s a slice of light under her door

and I can hear her pottering about,

making tea, preparing breakfast,

trying to mask the racket

made by the kettle.

I’m awake now.

I don’t sleep either.

The morning is raw

and my blankets are skewed

and I don’t love new days.


He’s a horrible old bastard.

He loves to undermine me.

Sneer. Scoff.

Deride all my projects.

I go queasy when he stares,

share nothing with him.

When we must converse,

he has this way of sighing,

a weary wish-you-had-never-been-born

tone. Total bastard.


And I have stalked you,

watched you glide back

down the hill

with your oversize backpack,

a little breathless,

returning to your school,

the perfect architecture

of your cheekbones set,

your hair rippling in the wind

like a Botticelli painting,

oblivious to my disturbing world,

its sorry music.