Broken glass on my doorstep;
a sprinkling of shards
that pierce my skin.
I sweep it away
but it always leaves a trace,
a fragment under my toes.

You always break me somehow.

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I am God.
I pluck feathers from the sky
and mould them into branches –
midnight affair and smoky glitter.

I stitch together wings and scales,
my laugh tinkles through the air
as birds and reptiles fly together –
scarlet leaf and black satin.

I am not God,
I am a sculptor.
I exhibit life –

but only temporarily.

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Sickly sweet sugar,
clinging to the back of your teeth,
the roof of your mouth,
like coins on your tongue,
like balm on your lips.

Decaying you from the inside out,
disintegrating like a corpse in a grave,
when the worms eat though the wooden cage
where your body will lie eternally –
or at least until its eaten away
with wormholes in your lungs
and dust in your eyes.

Sickly sweet sugar,
chipping away at your teeth until you can’t eat any more,
can’t bite any more.
Deprived of the sugar that broke you,
you’ll be eaten by the worms.

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Crystal Palace

There on the hill,
did you see it glitter?
That palace built of glass?
We made it together, me and her,
we built it on our own.

We danced around
on crystal floors,
we sang our songs
between those walls
and curled up together
behind gleaming doors.
listening to our eternity.

And the people watched
and the people said
be careful now,
the glass will break
and she and I, we only laughed,
we had more strength than that!
We would last ‘til the end of time
under the glittering ceiling filled with stars.

And so we danced and so we sang.
And so we laughed and kissed,
and spoke about forever.
The two of us in our crystal palace
just her and me, together

One day we danced,
someone jumped too hard –
I don’t know if it was me or her  –
but there it appeared, a crack in the glass
and our fingers intertwined more tightly
when we spoke about forever,
but our minds wandered
as we repeated tired words.

The crack became two,
then three,
then four –
the house was splintering
but we dare not leave.
We had promised forever and so
we stayed and prayed and let
our fingers twist together.

Until the house came crumbling down
and we were buried in its shards.
She held my hand  just one last time
and then I let her go
as I sank below the splinters
out of sight of her.
For all I know she was sinking too,
she’d been swept so far away.

There on the hill,
do you see it glitter?
Those shards of broken glass?
We built it together, me and her,
it was supposed to last forever.

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I’m going to move the earth she said.
Watch me. All I need is a plank long enough,
come on, help me look.
We searched,
through libraries of glass cases and piles of forgotten articles
– yellowed type on ancient paper –
and in the pattern on a butterfly’s wings.
And the colour that seeps from street lamps
through rain splashed windows on bitter nights –
halos over skeletal beacons.
She found the answer on her own,
I never grasped its clues;
except that it hovered in the shadows of her irises,
the freckles on her stomach,
the way she pronounced her name.
She stood under the moon in a hurricane,
and moved the earth, just like she said she would.

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Hands point to the middle of the night,
and the wind pauses
for a moment.
Electric bulbs flicker, silently.
A couple moans,
a drunk girl weeps,
the stars look down, indifferent.

Pretences fall, and make up smears,
and children laugh at sleepovers.
Night time falls,
and truth spills out,
in a gleaming mess
of broken hearts.

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The Artist

Each untouched colour, nestled in its separate corner,
begins to meet and swirl and blend,
and dancing faster and faster under bristles and fingertips,
previously unseen shades spread out across the board

and chaotic pools of entirely new, one-off hues
jump from palette to paper in dashes and swirls,
so meaningless in isolation –
together forming something new.

Recognisable shapes begin to emerge –
evolving amid the chaos and commotion,
a new being is pushed into existence,
and forced into consciousness.

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