The world stopped today
At four o’clock
The great red whales
spat their last commuters
As the powdery barnacles at their fins
Calcified them for another working day
bank holidays and weekends not included
My stomach smiles inwardly
as my solemn brow turns from the porthole
sighing at the clock
on a perpendicularly moustached face
The coffee in your palms
ebbing and flowing
with the tides outside
And spewing steam
like the smokestack won’t
Splashes onto the deck
Pulling on your smock
(and your trousers)
You hand me my wetsuit
and yank open the hatch
your hair pink on your cheeks
You draw the zip up my back
the teeth bite my neck
Pretending not to see
the coral spreading across the neoprene
you tell me I’m a strong swimmer
that the iceburg is off-course
And with a kiss
(I smell the bile rising in your throat)
send me out
Swimming with the sharks.
Got inspired/bored by the snow that’s all over England today. An alternative stance I hope, but definitely got carried away with the sea metaphor sorry :(
In your tower,
Suspended on expensive plastic rods,
Within strands bound with the bloodcells of bleeding fingers.
You know nothing,
As you lie, spreadeagled,
The hair ripped from your loins
By a stranger,
Who looks upon you
As a medical steak,
And a portfolio,
And $100 from a newspaper story.
As they pull back
The little pink ovals from your fingertips,
Glossy and glittering.
Beneath, they reveal,
The yellowing, fractured calcium
Layered like an onion,
And smelling so
Til they wipe chemicals over it,
Pressing a new nail on
As you notice their naked hands..
As your eyes sting,
Peroxide fumes rising,
Fusing together the plastic hairs upon your eyelids,
That you already cried for once.
Your scalp screams.
And the little man behind you
Pats the burning skin atop your head,
Protected in rubber,
In a falsetto voice
He tells you ‘Honey, you know it’s worth it’
But as your silhouette arches,
Held by a man who also held your heart,
On a TV screen.
Daddy shaking his head,
You’re both crying again.
He gives you the key to the world,
So you can hide til this all blows over.
And you find yourself in the same LA hotel as always,
Cradling your plastic chest in your arms.
We were given about 20 minutes for this writing exercise. I won’t lie, I did add to it as the seminar went on, but the idea and 99% of the poem was devised and written in class I swear :)