The girl in flat 12

It's been months
and I still have your dimples dented round my mind
like a steel door round a tree.

with you
I felt five and fifty at the same time
like pooping my pants and holding your hand.
Like a pirate who'd stumbled on the spot
marked X & landed head first in a well of pearls.
God and the angels
burned so brightly in my lungs, melting
my shadows around you.

I wanted to drown in you 
suffocate in your breath.
and this is not love.

when you see her

How dare my eyes behold the sun in disguise
and not perish nor sink into my skull like ice cream in June?
And tell me how your aura is the colour of the space between Saturn and Mars
and how many planets must I paint before you tilt on my axis?

How can I entwine my fate with yours?
What alchemy will sift through the vapour in my lungs
and make golden the words that I drape you in?
Your name I keep deep in this furnace like it’s got ninety nine meanings
and a hundred constellations.

Saturday Spring

and I say to you
between prescribing my favourite flavour ice cream
and damning my least favourite fruit
I’ll pause

smile and say,
you are the four seasons distilled
stirred and swirled
you are my summer solstice and winter eclipse
stellar and serene

you’re my saturday day Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel with the nuts in
and I want to make smoothies with you
bananas, raspberries, blueberries, mangoes
no apples,

and this is how I daydream of you in spring,
what will summer bring?

The girl of my dreams

The girl of my dreams has
grabbable hips, like fresh dough to a stone oven
thighs that rub just a little
locks that sail between my fingers like a light breeze by the coast
breasts like the most fertile orchards in Lebanon
brown skin like the banks of the Serengeti in June
brown like God’s fingernails on the sixth day
eyes like the finest horizons on distant lands
lips full as the ocean, lined with pearls and long lost treasures
lips that have kept Jonah and the whale,
legs like a Kenyan mountain, summit capped with endless pleasures.

Now, you will never be all of this,
No, your breasts will sag like waterfalls
your chapped lips will spit tsunamis
your skin will crack like parched river beds
The girl of my dreams is a mirage you will never be.

Listen, beneath your 9 to 5 eyes and late shift thighs
I want a heart that I can trust
I want to build a castle in you
one where I don’t pretend to be a knight, where my lance can rest
a fort where I can be weak and my shield can melt
a moat so deep I feel free to weep and not flee instead.

You may not taste like milk or honey,
maybe more like cheese and dry rye
but through this wilderness and weary toil
I want to look at you and say
“yes, this is my promised land”.

You may not be laced with the finest gold
but I want to spend the rest of my days clothing you in silk
lathering you in almond oil, cloaking you in violet and orchids,
yes, I want heaven in your earth.

A Chikale Summer

I said: “I will forever write about you”,
she smiled with her coconut tinted eyes,
fragile as the shells swaying in the August wind,
wiped her sweat from my lip and said:
“you will have many lovers after me”.

With clouds parting like show time curtains,
the sun snuck in, draping her in gold,
silhouetting her nose,
sinking into raven streaked hair.
The sky was so blue, I noticed.
The lake too, mirrored the heaven’s gradient
with a turquoise tinge as she lapped the shore.

She had the beach on her lips,
waves infinite between her hips,
I was the rock that caught her tide.

Snippets around the Underground

i
The greyness of togetherness
sway on their heads like unharvested grain,
his left hand searches for its weathered other;
she pauses,
               swings her bag back into her right,
and leaves him,
unanchored.

ii
She smiles,
sees him,
steals a glance,
robs another,
then stares at the cell of the grey carpet
trapped in a heart that used to feel concrete.

iii
Chapped lips, closed arms, crossed legs,
if these creaking gates fail right now
he may say too much too much too much.

iv
She stretches with the aftertaste of his soul on her lips
beaming with the light of certainty,
inhaling the gravel, the iron tracks and the scent of late afternoon.

v
Guarding the genie of his chai latte
the stained man mists the Starbucks window
sipping the aroma of 9 am.

Poetry

The trouble with poetry is that it amplifies everything
I want to feel this I want to feel that
It’s verbs and superlatives
Being a poet is allowing one’s heart to be dice
but being the sneaky dealer at the same damn time
It’s declaring that she is the sun when you know your heart loves eclipses
It’s telling her she’s the one, as if you can’t find more synonyms
Poetry is alcohol. Russian standard, triple distilled. It will ruin you, give you black outs like a West African town with one power station.
You will eat the grapes of her smile her smell her presence and they will ferment in your stomach and bubble up pounding on your throat till you’re left gushing words you can’t explain, hungover and empty yet satisfied.
Poetry does not believe in a formulaic way of loving you. There are an infinite number of stanzas in which I can tell you I miss you. What verse will tell me no? Feet after feet I will testify what the brewery in my gut is churning.
Poetry makes use of the times when we don’t speak. When we feign invulnerability, hiding behind pride and uncertainty, poetry loves it.
Poetry is such a dick. Poetry is a blessing.
Poetry is not something I choose.
The other day when I read your letter and you told me you loved me less, I ran, I ran really hard on the treadmill and it felt really good.
Poetry is the House, she always wins.

Ivory Tower

Her neck, I’ve wanted to bruise for a while now,
it reminds me of that ridiculous Song of Songs verse
where King Solomon compares his lover’s neck to an ivory tower,
– which, I’m sure, given appropriate historical context
is not ridiculous at all.
Context is key. Right now she sits before me
with my paw grazing her slender neck
legs crossed, tempted to
     prise her thighs apart with my left
(but we’re in company and that would be impolite)
her eyes are sharp and sparkle at the edges like pools in Heshbon,
reflecting my thoughts as her pulse quickens