And when you offered that pained expression
through a bus window, I suppose
you would have already known
that you were done; something you would later
blame me for although you had already decided
she would be your life,
the messages, the language lessons.
You were kind to say the foxes reminded you
of me, but what you really meant was they walked
lost when others were asleep. And when the fox
gave birth in my garden, I watched them, like rats, suckle;
she beneath shade of damp leaves, blinking
at daytime, unafraid to be in sight. Well done,
I thought; you’ve come a long way.
Brian, the Theorist
He says his bones were killing him, these twisting carnivals
beneath beechwood skin, it was from the
pleasure found in the top quarter of beer in which his voice was guided, accented
in Happy Mondays or Hungerford Arms. He would tell it to her
straight; this acquaintance, arm-skin slumping like a handbag
from pits. She talked inquisitively, an investigator, from
his neck a garland hospital-badge where he portered down
the road and fasttrack appointments came like extra chips
from your fournightsaweek local. Don’t worry yourself, he says,
this face of an oak leaf; cancer and all that damn shit. It’s better
to sweat in the night. It gets you up in the fucking morning.
Chimene Suleyman is a London based writer and poet. Her debut poetry collection Outside Looking On – where these poems are included – will be released by Influx Press on September 15 2014. She tweets @chimenesuleyman.