Ice lolly sticks and eggshells

There’s a spiral in my fingerprint that I get lost in.
It’s like something from a Geography textbook.
The middle is thin and intricate
then expands into controlled chaos.
When I think about everywhere I’ve left it
I get a little overwhelmed:
car door handles, ice lolly sticks, eggshells,
the side of my temples, Christmas crackers,
funeral order of services, dog poo bags.
It sits near the tip of my left hand’s ring finger.
That one gets all the stories.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Heart in the head

When asked what animal I would be
I tend to opt for a giraffe.
I’m pretty tall, thin-limbed and knobbly-kneed.
I have patchy skin, sticky-out ears,
small tufts of hair and I like leaves.
Poking my massive tongue out is fun too.
There have been days I’ve felt more like a pig,
or a butterfly that can taste everything it walks on.
Sometimes I’m a shrimp with its heart in its head.
It’d be nice to hibernate for 17 years like a cicadas.
I once felt like a cute little mouse.
But deep down I know
I’m going to be startled to death like a chicken.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Taking chances

Imagine if your reflection was independent,
just hanging out behind the mirror,
swooning, taking chances, eating coconuts,
making different mistakes, upsetting different people,
living the life you were too scared to live.
Would you try and kiss it? I probably would.
It’s embarrassing to say, but I’d love to really
know what kind of a kisser I am.
My reflection looks like a selfish lover
and far less nervous than I feel.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Departure

On the packed platform at Vauxhall train station
everyone was looking at me. Absolutely everyone.
My perturbed pupils surveyed the scene I was the star of.
The metal teeth in front of my penis were zipped up,
I was shoulder free of bird bum Tipp-Ex, my moustache
was by no means milked up and not a single bean juice blob
sat on my grey hoodie. Nothing.
But still the anoraked man frowned at my face,
the latte-handed lady tutted at my hair,
the front page Metro celebs judged my tummy.
I turned and rushed away from underneath
the departures board, terribly insecure.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Extra 24 hours

If the extra 24 hours of a leap year
got spread out across the month of February,
I wonder how we would use them each day.
Maybe we’d look at the shape of clouds a little longer,
take that slight lie in we always want on a week day.
Perhaps we wouldn’t tut when the bus was a minute late
or we’d take daily steps to repair relationships.
We could start that hobby, read that book,
bake that cake, try speaking kindly to ourselves.
If I had an extra hour every day I would probably
read through my Gmail’s ‘Social’ and ‘Promotion’ tabs.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Sixty thousand thoughts

We have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Peaches.
Did I leave the gas on? What’s she looking at?
What’s he looking at? I don’t have a gas oven.
Apples. Shit shoes. Graeme had nice cheeks.
Sausages. I want a Mars Bar. When did it last snow?
Parkour! Bananarama. My back hurts.
Jim’s forks feel right in my hands. Bacon.
Look left. Look right. Pigeon eggs? Dust is skin.
Last night a DJ saved my life. Cherry yogurt.
I wonder if Scott liked the dumplings. Mini discs.
My name is almost car. Toy Story. Pigs.
Will my baby be able to roll its tongue?
Mmmm Danone.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Mild peril

A nine-year-old asks a 12-year old
Why do you use a fork like that? Are you stupid?
A waiter has a seed in his front two teeth.
My finger pops through the toilet roll.
A two hour train journey gets slowed
into a four hour train journey.
I go up a notch on my decade old belt.
A woman crosses the road when the man is red.
I lose a tenner and then find it in my wallet.
A pigeon slips off a kerb.
I finally understand Finding Nemo’s
‘Mild Peril’ classification.

© Carl Burkitt 2020