The track was carved too shallow to follow
but still remains & always will;
water warmer than blood & a bandage
of elastic bands & any paper
to be found proceeded by dreamless sleep.
In the morning a red-stained scene
of failure & a shame deeper
than the track that missed its path by an inch,
& lead instead to survival.
Weeks passed without a word
until, where the track ends
something was discovered
to be beautiful & trembling with life**,
in unknowing defiance of winter.
Then a morning came when
I awoke to the smell of your skin, &
that the journey would never be
until the time was right
& the endless night would arrive
in due time.
*New Dawn Fades – Joy Division
**Three Peaches – Neutral Milk Hotel
You have a favourite tree in this city,
& the one he hung himself from
is in the same public garden.
You took me there once:
we were drunk.
You climbed the trunk & sat on the branch
where he swung
for hours, years ago, until
the grounds-keeper found him in the morning.
& quit their job soon after.
He is always somewhere in your mind,
the memories you want desperately to survive
come flooding back to you sometimes
& the pain in your eyes is unbearable.
So much trauma.
you plant flowers at the base of the tree.
you despair as age reminds you again
just how young he was.
So much trauma.
I asked permission
& you let me sit on the branch with you.
Looking down on the ground,
every suicidal thought returned &
I realised I wasn't ready;
to lay beneath a cherry tree
& bleed, buried beneath fallen blossoms:
I wasn't ready then…
was your friend?
You asked me & the only answer
that I could find
was that some of us need more
than life can provide,
but we search
until the searching
becomes too much.
Is my story more exciting than yours?
Or did you get those scars in a bloodier war?
The pen can be mightier than the sword,
but guns would kill us all.
If only you could summon up the balls,
to stain the floor with your bullet-ridden corpse
vomit away your soul
say goodbye with the sound of broken bones
with a leap into the unknown.
Would your mind change before hitting the ground?
Or would you leave with a taste of regret?
The war started before you were ready,
the fighting will fall silent without you knowing,
you weren’t really ready for
anything at all.