There is dust shuffling across the cap of the mouthwash,

the window, the indentations in the wooden bathroom door, and

straddling the loo roll, like grey freckles.

the top of my legs are itchy against wet plastic,

                                      hard, and even though the door is locked I feel

myself blushing; is this a safe place?

   The scum around the plug hole is a claggy eye, blinking silver

and rotten hair.

                                                                  No one says depression makes you cold.

Blue tiles eat up light, casting shadows on misted glass.

                                                                       Dirty. Streaked with white.

And I am fading out of my skin again,

                                                         the edge of my vision is stinging and heavy,

nostrils flared.

                                                 Tightness comes, a creamy bird fluttering against my 


chest and stomach and bowels and I wince,


                                                          white pills and clear liquids,

                                               airy medicines.

                                                                       This disease is made of cloud.

No one will know where I have gone.







what do you do when none of it works anymore?

when time is seconds of dough stretched over the hands of God

who pulls, and tugs, and leaves black dust over it,

and over all of us.

What can we do but pray to be dropped?

That his holy kneading might end and my bones will stop burning,

and all of these thoughts will stop turning

like clocks.


Out of Flesh

Out of Flesh


She is furled inside,

 A hot green place,

                        Flushed with dew.




                                    But flowing knots of ears vibrate,

And hear

                        The yellow singing.

                                                                                    The shaking sound of golden drumming begins

                                                            To tug her soft frame,

Not yet a body,

Out of quiet marrow.


                                                                                                            Those dusty fingers, so insistently teasing

                                                                                                Her wings into limbs

                                                                                    Her tails into thighs,

                                    And the flowing coil of fire

into something red and cloying.

She beats against the heavy form,

To be free and in the dark again.


Then a tall helix of clacking shapes,

Bubbles forced into brittleness

                                                            Stacking like bars in a cage. She tries to swim away into forests of blood

                                                                                                But her claws are fingers and will not scratch through heaven

                                                                                    Anymore. And light suddenly,

 it digs inside to touch her,

tickling its way and leaving holes

to be filled with eyes.


Air pours and scalds and hisses through

Making veins,

And burning capillaries.

                                                            Naked and blind, she follows the singing.


There is the sharp earth,

And the dripping wound in his side.






birthday card

Are you mine? Do we begin and end together?

                                         Do I even know what I belong to, what parts of me I own?

There is a dull gold lamp lit in the corner of the room,

                                  with a pale skirt of light that is barely trying

    to break through this powdery afternoon air

                                                                          when afternoon has curled inside itself and run away with the sun,

and we are left,

with knife-edge light, grey clouds turned into teeth and cold breath.

                                                                                              Cutting us.

And the birthday card is caught in that silver reflection

                                                                    flashing against sky with tarnished reds

and curdled exclaimation points.

And here I am,

                                   wondering why the light is stale,

                                                                                     and where you are tonight.


I am falling out of my heart today

great clots of blood congealing around my teeth

                                               and mouth,

                                                                       Like a bitch-rabbit,

starving underground in some small

dark hole,

                                           quietly consuming her own young.





A Second Bedroom part II


Part II

She remembers the first night he slept out of their bedroom. The evening drew in with black rain and dark windows, and she left the wine glasses sitting in the sink. On the way upstairs she hesitated by the door of the study, her toes licking the yellow light peeping from under the door. She climbed under the cool sheets, and listened to the night. The dog sniffing around the bedrooms, the foxes screaming in the garden, and then, finally, his quiet coughing on the stairs, the rustle of his skin against the barely slept in linen. She tried to imagine the soft folds of duvet before his closing eyes, the peacefulness of the silence without her rigid, alive body beside him. She listened for the steadiness of his breathing, descending slowly into soft, purry snores. From here, he sounds like a small puppy, or a baby with a cold, the little nasal gurgling of sleep. It is hard to think of his large, cold presence as being intimidating when she thinks of all the thousands of feathers in pillows and duvets tucked around him. She almost thinks it could work again, as she stares at the reflection of the automatically changing traffic lights against her window.

            He rolls in his sleep, a mass of skin and life turning away from her.

     The hallway expanded

                        A never-ending length of creamy-lit carpet,

                                    A map of tea-stains, dog sick, and children’s crushed crayons and stubby wet felt tip pens,

The horrible cartography of her life,

Stretched out between them.

Keeping them apart.

She lies down in his bed and wonders if on that night he had woken and missed her,

or even felt colder without her body heat

            or even woke and was angry with her.

But he has always been a heavy sleeper.

Her stomach lurches when the dog pads in, his nails scratching on the laminate floor (they need a cut). She groans with the jolting internal reflux,

 relief and disappointment are making her sick.

She swallows.

The dog has laid his warm back against her stomach and drifted off.

There is the wheeze of his lungs, and the hot,


Breath from his nose tickling her knuckles.

Moistening her hand.

She likes that he is called

‘A whippet’

A dog with pathetic fallacy for

A name

The word for what she feels in this hot, endless morning.

Her eyes are closed,

Red skin beats inside her eyelids.

The world will have to come back later,

She is not ready for it right now,

She is not ready.

Pungent doggy breath

Cold male sweat

And the sweet smell of cheap underwear.

Peace and Quiet.

She cannot sleep.

A second Bedroom – Part I


(This is the first part of a short story I am working on – part II to follow).

A Second Bedroom

She dreams herself into a little tiger print box that once held some cheap underwear.

The box swims in something creamy, and black.

She does not sleep but thinks of simple things:

Her daughters hair, her Father’s profession

carved into the heavy wood of her mind like

A Native American talisman:

relics from another incarnation.

A crude bowler hat for a banker’s head,

Hello yellow strips of hair attached to an

Antique hand mirror her mother had passed down.




They reel down.

Then it is the morning, bright, and full of white lights and screeching kettles. Every surface in her kitchen seems to glare at her, making her wince as coffee steams her chin. Whistles, shoes, paper, rubber, plastic school coats, these are the sounds that she might bruise her skin. It is the sensation of life hitting her, over and over with inescapable urgency, like pregnancy contractions. She cannot stop the cruel winding of wheels, cogs, cars, bells, all these things that make it all happen. The continuance of it is making her sick.

She watches her children with dismay, and ugly fear crawls into her throat. Like demented plants, she imagines them growing in front of her, bursting buttons off their uniforms and climbing out towards her with palms outstretched;

Needing things, wanting things,

Needing and Needing and Needing.

She cannot stop them growing, cannot stop their organs pumping blood into their brains and muscles. She imagines she can see the cells in their skin multiplying and swarming right there, that morning. Wildly, she thinks she must sterilise everything they touch. She cannot bear it, and needs it to stop.

Stop That Right Now.

Then there are dishes, and the smell of a dishcloth that has been stewing in greasy suds, and the redness behind her eyes that is deepening into a wine glaze. Nothing will ever be clean. She tries not to think of the years she has lost in the bags of vacuum cleaners and fluff of feather dusters.

She finds herself lying on the bed that her husband sleeps in, trying to regain a central quietness. His smell is in her nostrils and his soft skin cells under her nails. But the scent of the pillow seems cold to her, the dent set and not freshly made.

Blue, green, grey, Brown,

She does not remember the colour of his eyes.

But the day is roaring at her, so that she almost wants to tell the furniture to shut up! He hasn’t dusted in here like he promised, and she can see prickles of dark hair on the bedside table where he must have dry shaved in a rush.

Millimetres of his face are attached to each strand,

                                    He is chopped up all over the surface.