i’d found stone rock bench platform plateaus
where you used to drink your coffee    cigarettes
and laugh at passers-by, sitting on yourself
occasionally eyeing an old-styled frieze
of judgemental swords and curling lips,
half-wondering what shiny sparking floors
hid inside grey white smog smoked walls.

you’d complain about the square
forever being full of something,
usually people, sometimes markets
utterly refusing to let the space be
and your smoking spot’d be stolen
by wooden huts hawking mushy peas
or mulled cider or chocolate tools

she’d sipped at broken wine,
minding her skin on the glass,
she’d told me it made more sense
when you were bruised, when
beautiful tiredness burst
behind your eyelids and cracked
your wrists with all the fury
of what you’d wished you could say.

on days like those we could lie
about the beauty in everything,
but now we can only tell the truth.


but I know it now, so getting better.

Picking up pieces of broken glass
without slitting my wrists.

Writing goodbyes every time I talk.

Stepping into colours
walking out uncaring.

Making old friends

Reading books
preaching bad poetry.

Moving to fast music.

Caring too much
too heavily
too slowly.

Failing to sleep

caring too little.

no complaints.

“Pieces of Broken Glass”

That was when I collected the pieces
of broken glass on the floor to tidy
up and file away the once clear hourglass
that had marked the loss of all the time
we had used for sketching and loving
and falling and hurting and hiding
amongst the thorns of the bush of roses.

We had spent so much time with the flowers
that we lost the ability to think
about all the other things we had to do
like work and walk and wander ageing streets
till we’ve the courage the storm the castle
then argue while trying to learn to share
all the paintings draped over the ramparts.

You sent me out to look for a name
so I broke into the library and read
through all the volumes of classics
to find which ones I liked but there were lots
to get through before I settled down on
naming our wonderful castle after
one of the old greats: I called it Virgil.