Two cats play piano;
Soft paws on ivory keys
Stumbling into unintentional melodies.
Whiskers tickle thick chords
As hammers hit hard harmonies.
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Subdued, I resolve:
I must savour you in morsels.
I attempt to stem thin red tears
With the gentle graze
Of my serrated edge.
Give me indifference like slow fog:
Dissipated by the switch-flick of full-beams.
This opaque apathy does not thaw.
I’m brittle in thick ice.
In our imitation of intimacy,
I wonder whether
I could ever
By constant cups of tea
And pecks on the cheek.
We are zombies.
Not from the bite but from our lips
As kisses decayed into frigid pecks.
Cold and corpse-like,
We’ve been dying ever since.
Domestic bliss marked by the metronome of a dripping tap;
Love letters etched in the limescale of our kitchen sink.
Mess mounts all around us.
I often write you poems, but I want to write you songs.
Simple syllable structures do not adequately capture your complexities.
The staccato of careful couplets cannot convey your dulcet dynamism.
I would sing to you in bird squawks and animal growls;
My shy tongue unable enunciate your beauty.
Even in song, I would fail to articulate your significance to me.
You are pure symphony.
An orchestra would better capture the melodic cacophony of your perfect contradictions.
I would transpose words for notes and beats;
Encode emotion in a worthier form of art.
I would write refrains for us to hum together;
A new lexicon of love.
I want to write you songs but instead I write you poems
Knowing words alone, no matter how carefully arranged,
Will never quite be enough.
“I’ve never considered drowning a cat.”
He says this and, politely, I concur with that.
In shameful realisation, I play it off as a joke;
The impulse is not as relatable as I’d hoped.
“I don’t really hit the snooze button. I’m refreshed after sleep.”
She tells me when I tell her my morning routine:
Waking up disappointed, not quite wanting to be dead
But not feeling alive. Staying safe in my bed.
“I make silly faces in the the mirror until I smile.”
Is her answer after pausing whilst she thinks for a while
When I say I have enough clothes but nothing to wear
Because the judgement of my reflection is too much for me to bear.
“I feel so much better when I just exercise”
He prescribes for the days that I don’t go outside.
I imagine the endorphins of a stroll through the park
Whilst lay like a corpse for full days in the dark.
“I keep positive affirmations in the lists that I write.”
She bestows me this weapon for the demons I fight.
Because I’ve asked her if her nightmares seem more real than real life,
Because I’m dreaming my days and I can’t sleep at night.
I swallow my struggle and I smile, “You’re right.”
When you asked I how I was, you were being polite.
I appreciate it, and I’m grateful, and I know that you care.
My problems aren’t your burdens and they’re unfair to share.
I don’t want you to fix me and I get so frustrated.
I need you to listen; love the flaws that I’ve hated.
I know it’s too much to ask. Let me spare you instead–
May that be my comfort in the words left unsaid.
Life told in snapshots
Affixed in negative space.
Our home an album;
Photographs far more vibrant
Than the people we’ve become.
A puppy falls in love with a lamppost.
Forgetting it has been forcibly chained.
Accepting the cold metal indifference.
Sitting together silently in the rain.