pomegranate seeds

the scars on your hands

fresh like spilt blood that slipped

between cracks in the pavement

as I tripped last summer, grazed by worries

family

work

friends

but sharper than that,

although we’re only fifteen,

you having the upper hand back then, with four

months of breathing more than me.

how much longer that lasts, I couldn’t say because

 

you wear those fears around your wrist

locked into the skin

death will end our lives

but the fear will destroy it. you weigh up

calculus and counter-top drugs

sitting in class and sobbing alone in your room.

 

I hear you sometimes

I hear it in the quiet of your red-rimmed

eyes, unlike the space where your coffee used to

stain on your favourite lunch time table.

 

it’s not like you drifted

away from me. one day it’s summer,

my shirt red from blood and pomegranate seeds,

the next you’re gone, your mind a foreign territory

and I’m left at lunch

alone.

 

but you’re not.

you have your fears with you,

after all

they never seem to leave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Distillation of thought

We sit.

We sit and we think.

We sit and we think and we turn a page.

Or we stand in the train, the tears of a child seeping into conciousness

a stranger’s anger twisting

into our minds at the half-line of a phone call,

eyes darting away to avoid the shadow of confrontation-

we grip the book tighter trying not to think about

yesterday or today or the taxes or the work or the-

we mumble excuses, push past other people with other problems,

stepping onto the platform, book still clutched in our hand

like a medicine against the pain of reality,

the page now lost.

 

We sit and we think and we turn a page.

Arrive at bookshops with hours to shed, looking for a book

like we’re looking for a new life

They pile in your mind, the weight of unread masterpieces

dragging down your social confidence, because what if that was

a line of a Wilde novel, slipped into a party conversation to ignite a laugh,

but us being the fool

(always the fools, aren’t we)

we miss the joke because we hadn’t spent enough time alone,

alone with a book

which isn’t the same thing, is it?

 

That time spent thinking about stolen money,

stolen dreams,

stolen people,

the time spent crouched over pieces of paper that spout

lies, glorious lies but lies all the same,

is like a drug for curiosity. We read to escape,

to deduce with Holmes and

make spells with Harry

or ponder with Hamlet

because our world isn’t enough, too cramped

and busy

and stuffy with mortal problems

to be valuable.

 

Instead of searching for a cape of words-

a place to hide whilst problems fester and grow

(the thoughts pushed frantically to the back of the mind)

we should spend more time on returning from our imagination.

Searching for a plan, a solution, a way

instead of the right chapter, because when you return

from altars of blood and planets of moonlight, the problems will still exist.

The father will still be crying in the corner, untouched.

The girl’s fists will still be clenched, blood bursting into her palm

The woman’s face will still be etched into marble, and she won’t speak anymore.

 

 

The world is fractured, humanity splintering

into shards of terror and fear and horror

at it’s ends, but the ends will only become sharper

if we try to hide

behind pieces of paper