No Man Made

You think of me as soft wet clay

malleable under the warmth of hands found flesh

delicate mounds for fumbled thumbs

to dig at and scoop out of

and a part of you that wants to add pressure

to see me twist and turn

and ooze the innards of me

those most private of places

between your fingers

losing bits of me in the grooves of worn palms

sliding over knuckles

scraped under nails with sodden sounds

muffled from getting out.

But hands like yours are cold

and I harden against you

against the demand of your offence

the passivity you wish of my mouth

I will not be bent double of position

to a patronage I do not recognise as the better

nor will I be sent into the fire

to kiln the labels you give me

onto this body that is of mine own making

I will not be placed among your collection

where you believe my only stature to be

silenced to someone who believes that force of want

will put me in my place.

This Wind You Talk Of

I feel the winds of change dip

and miss their wizened whipping

against cheek

miss the stagger in my walk

Beaufort’s notice now absent.

The air

is

still.

The leaves fall without cushion

hit ground that doesn’t differ

and lose themselves

under slackened feet

heavier step.

Sound echoes,

bounces its impudence off walls

bounces its impotence off shut doors,

peals off unseen ceilings.

Land cut off from sky.

Voice cut off from limitless possibility.

All of a sudden change means something old

not new

something unchallenged

not revolted

something saddened by an about turn in time

to a month before the showers that bring flowers

those symbols of peace

to the hair of people that believed we could

and has set trends

for the comb-overs to come over

all brash and branded

with weapon

with ignorance

to say we cannot.

I feel tongue thickened in mouth

like words’ power has forgotten its cause

because a louder voice,

one no one heard grow

from whisper

to shout

is talking over my monologue

is wagging its finger

is telling me things I know like I don’t

has been joined in choral strength

by those with unlined soles

and closed off souls

to silence those of us who loved that wind

and died when it was blown out.

“Perceived Invitation”

See me waiting on you

the hand

the foot

table leg and chair for you

to put

your heavy burden

of your father’s legacy

its misogyny

on me.

I feel the footprint

of all those before you

in the small

of my back

And taste

those lost to the cause

in the dirt

in my mouth

their fight

in the grit

between my teeth

their sacrifice

ashed into the dust

I breathe in.

I do not need to stand

– to make one

I do not need to say no

– to mean it

I should not need to school you

– in lessons you should already know

Only for a moment

Sometimes I wonder if my mind will snap

I fear it

…that thinking about you for more than a second

will stretch the rope of my togetherness like elastic

taut

pulled in separate directions until…

I suck the tip of my thumb where it stung

from the sharp flick of truth

and promptly

without question

turn my head to watch the endirted sheets on the line.

Just a little

You make what is love to you to me

but I don’t want the lingering look

heavy lashed side glances

laden breath from laid-on emotion

I want the rise and fall

the slippery when wet

the grit and grind of

we’re-almost-past-tense

a heady fuck of a fuck.

It ain’t that I ain’t a lady

nor that I’m-just-not-that-into-you crap

neither it be because of

a natural inclination to piss you off.

And don’t mistake this intent

as reminiscent of past embraces

that damaged these goods

cos these goods still be goodies

I just want the south

want for my blood to rush

the hardening of body

the obliteration of the soft

this body is used, not abused,

so treat it like one

take the gloves off

learn my safe word

and have me scream it.

Second

It’s a different kind of tangible now

this real, this unreal.

The first year was a year of firsts,

all sore and pulpy at the wounds,

but now,

now seconds fill shadows and the gaps between breaths

it is going to be the second of everything,

it is going to be harder to wash over

a solid lump of clay in my throat

waiting to be swallowed

when all I want is to spit it out

and see it grow, form, be something else that’s other.

I was the first to have the first

now the first to have the second and the salt

that sits between jaw and bone

itches my teeth and tingles my mouth

a salty knowing I dare not allow to saline my words.

Wounds have not healed

just hidden beneath growing moss

and stone laid purposefully

a rock I do not wish to lift but is lifting anyway.

Unbitten lips know they are not to utter words

formed in the false memory

whose tongue I have clenched tight

to protect my ears from hearing

the words that ring in my head daily

and whose bells I muffle with great effort

with being good at refusing to listen.

Blues’d streets mean sheets

Beggars be choosers but media cheats

Casting segregation lines tween sex engendered and the free endangered

By bullets from mouths and knives from tongues

By advertising dialogue that dictates us how to belong

To ground up slammed styles that clap back at natural smiles

To organic cotton eaten by the moths of consumerism

And spat out by a brexit false patriotism

This jism

This cataclysm of decisions made rash

And itchy of skin

Which all of us non-conformists find ourselves stuck in

This proxy vocation of a pretended nation

That is more divided than our Facebook status’s confided

That kissed cheek with blistex lips and practically bent at the hip

To allow this disavowed problem to be all of ours somehow

So I choose my nation to be more than a complication, to be a banshee cry that threatens the why and brings you my clasped handed friends

To work out hard on how this one ends.