Sign Of My Times

I see the compulsive man, picking up dead leaves

On his path home, placing them in sun beaten carrier bags

It must take him four and a half hours to get home,

I ask him if he needs a hand and he says

Autumn is coming, then shuffles up the street .


It’s the first of March, my birthday, I’m resolving to kick my habit

of tooth rot and parrot talk, and I’m welcoming the spring.

I contemplate celebrating by becoming a crack dealer

Photocopying my buttocks

And fly posting the university walls

But it’s hard being anonymous here

So we use facepaint and dance instead.


A disco outing after developing a cocktail called Sex

I give my first speech and forget to thank my parents,

The party in my flat cheer anyway and bundle my bed

For a count of 15, raise their glasses and march out the door

Clinking to ring of fire, beer pong anthems.


We’re at 80s flirt, loose legs limp on the neon juice,

Beat over the face with dubstep and handbags

I shake them off tell them I’m with wonderwoman

Thundercat strut in my tights to New Order,

Downing Aftershock, meek chemical peel burn

In my throat, pure fluoride,

Need to spit, to head home for the dentist

or a bathroom floor, a porcelain bowl.

On exit, we’re questioned by two bowling pin bouncers,

I high five one’s face and stamp out the fire at the other’s feet

Shrieking like the scared lion I am painted to be.

Wonder woman apologises for me, moaning ‘Lion-O,’

Ready to escort me home.


Catching brain freeze from drinking too much air

My feet are blood balloons trussed up in leather

Too tired I start rolling up the hill on the pavement

That is hiding under a blanket of dead leaves,

We reach the porch,

where two guys shake cum and vomit out of a bed sheet

Into 2.10 AM wind, chatting about chicken kebab

And how tight Stacey is. ‘Are you going to be single for tour

Full on tonguing Spanish heart and whores?’

I shrug the sign of my times and tut at their language,

Kick leaves off heels at the door, held up by my caped saviour

Eager to hide in my cupboard that believes it’s a bedroom.

Inside, I get called a racist by post-it notes

pinned to a corkboard for poetry

tell myself to be calm and deliver slow.

Drink the chalk water, talk to the toaster

For spring loaded conversation,

Hear the after midnight row, upturned beds and wall pummels

Little naked fists, wrist caught and kissed

That love hate relationship knuckle imprints my cheekbones


They know I’m home when they hear my post night out stream

My head hits the ceiling, feet land after a minute, collapse on

My lover wonderwoman, who starts wiping the makeup and tears from

My battered skull, picking dead leaves from my locks

Telling me I’m beautiful,

while I try to articulate why I respect women.

She shushes me with a hand on the back of my neck

I purr and cry at the excess love in my veins, the sign of the times

Fear of autumn coming, thankful for the superheroes

We both painted ourselves to be, both mismatched

But resting in the same, spring time tree,

Two cats in no need of firefighters.


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