Feathers

I was waiting for the bus, one day,

when I overheard

a conversation.

There were two speakers.

The first was a boy with

stars in his eyes,

and the second was

a girl

with wind on her lips.

Schoolbags hung

heavy from their wispy shoulders,

but the weight didn’t bother them.

Their hands were entwined,

in the shy gentle way of love

fresh from the oven,

and their voices

were whispered feathers.

I caught one of those

in my palm,

and listened to what it said.

“Where’s home?” the boy

asked,

his voice raspy

and she replied,

“Down the street.”

“Who’s in it?

he asked again,

eager to know

everything,

and she said,

“My parents and Toby.

My mom would be sitting on our

ancient sofa, in her checkerprint

apron reading a magazine.

Dad would have gone to work

in his tweed jacket

his watch wound 5 minutes earlier

to ensure he

was never late.

Toby would be running

around the house

in a flash of gold,

and waiting until I came home.”

She asked him the same.

His eyes hazed,

“My Gran. She has

the wrinkliest face

and makes the best

pie in the world.”

They laughed together,

in their own bubble,

and I

thought

that if someone were to ask me

who was home

they’d get the most

dismal response in

blue curtains

a

broken television

and the

ghost of you.

Red-Skinned

I’ve been writing too many poems with a darker side off late, and I know there’s more to come so here’s a bit of fluff to break the monotony. This is a simple poem to all those girls/boys who have a crush on someone and can’t tell them. It’s infuriating, no?

I can feel the butterflies

playing catch in my belly

I know it’s time

I have to tell you

It’s now or never

My blush has become

a

permanent feature

by now-

I bet you think that

I was born red-skinned

better for you to think that

than know the reason is you

(always, infuriatingly you)

you and your eyes

that

shine the clearest turquoise

images of

you and your large palms

cupping the side

of my red-skinned face

you and your lanky gait

lazily crossing the room

like you

own the world

you and your dimpled smile-

the crowning glory

like the applause at

the end of a play

my fingers clutch the edge of my yellow

skirt

i know you like yellow, you

had told me once

I spot you, leaning against

the wall ahead

the cigarette dangling at the edge

of your chapped lips

you see me walking to you

your raise your eyebrows in greeting

my heart stops

I stutter a hello

and keep moving forward

not daring to look back at your

questioning eyes

I simply cannot confess

I have lost my nerve

and my wit

and my ability to speak,

thanks to

a young boy

with the ocean in his eyes

and death on his lips.