Air Tax In The Hydrogen Undergroung

Imagine everyone in this carriage is single,
the advert gleams as we rocket through
scratched paper arteries, old posters
selling CCTV smiles, powered by oysters.

We try the hydrogen Overground
learn to breath each other’s exhales
during months that we are closer
to people we don’t know, than the ones we do.

We pay for limbo, hope the quick outside
is still there when we step back into it.
The street churches become lungs,
break dancers undo their feet to choir music.

People will say things like South-West girls are hotter
than North-East girls
. No-one looks like where they grow up.

I shout trebuchet?! at a taxi driver, he shrugs
and throws me out anyway. I expect
cockney shouting and football chants
knocked over in the road.

Grease hardens in chalk outlines of dead men.
They will walk in the parts of buildings
made by the sun sinking lower.
Women will listen for heavy breathing.

I cannot find grass that wasn’t put there
by a government official demanding Air Tax.
We will worry about the gangs
but beg to turn the lights out, to stay green.

Day 5: Gobstoppers Are Not A Make Of Shoe

The coat hanger by the front door is upside down.
A pile of jackets sleeps under it.
I’m certain that soon, enough cold people
will come over to fill them.

I wear my shoes on my head.
You tell me not to walk to you like that.
I put a Converse in your mouth,
wait for you to chew.

These laces aren’t firecrackers,
I can’t talk surprised anymore.
I have rubber band Christmas jokes
and plastic-cast PING frogs.

That’s all.

You weren’t selling Mormon merchandise
or window cleaning blades or subscriptions
to magazines that sell things that make
your house smell like outside on the days
when you can’t fill the space of a coat.
You didn’t want my vote or recipe
for a time machine or my in-sole size
or a fingerprint to confuse a Zebra’s
body paint with.

It was nice to meet someone
who followed the conversation wherever it went.

Semtex Is The Perfect Perfume For A Lover

You were jealous of the butterfly flock stuck in her eyes.
You determined that she’s a doll.
I told you that makes her easy to break.
Some people want that.

When I mistook love for a butterfly flock,
she was standing in a library spotlight,
batting the kaleidoscope wings
curled on her eyelids. I asked if she liked jazz
and stumbled in all the right places.
She found a drawing of mine that wasn’t finished
and when I coloured it in for her,
she said she would put it on her wall.

I killed hours and laid them at her feet.
She never wanted to spend more time.
Some people catch a lot of dust in their eyes,
or they just like blinking too much.

When my girlfriend called, I ignored it and texted
‘busy, call later, love you,’ most days.
She drew me a blueprint of a family,
a house, with a dog, that could run and we had kids
with names and I would golf at weekends
with her friends, who had names,
who spoke like reunions and I never made jokes,
because my tongue is a baseball bat, most days.
We didn’t have common interests in sport.

I gave her a stick of dynamite for our anniversary.
When I left, the decorators had finished
putting up blue wallpaper,
after two years of promising to turn up to do it.