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.