I was gone

My tongue melted into the stream
running through my street.
I forgot I couldn’t swim
and front crawled my way to the seaside.
My worn out t-shirts whispered
to my spine how long it really was.
I saw a seagull strutting
down Bournemouth beach
eating chips for breakfast.
He gave me a wink
and reminded me I had a chest.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

I’m my PJs

Some people say you are what you eat.
Others say you’re only as old as you think you are,
or you’re only as good as your last performance.
I often see the phrase, you are not alone.
I once read a Facebook typo saying, I’m my PJs.
Today I was a pint of gravy,
the cushions of a sofa,
the co-captain of a ship
we’re slowly working out how to steer.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Size doesn’t matter

Your all in one baby grow
has a thumb-size pocket on the chest.
My morning eyes picture
you carrying the tiniest keys in the world,
the cutest little wallet
with useless bank cards
as small as stamps.
Imagine how miniature the fluff would be.
You’d never fit a mobile phone in there,
but that won’t stop sad news
getting sent to you.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Upstairs

New people will be moving
into the downstairs flat soon.
It’s nice imagining the carpet
whispering to toes
they will get to know too well.
I like thinking about the doorknob
shining itself up to make a good impression.
Hello! the welcome mat will say.
There’s sugar upstairs, if you need it.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

How can I help?

I turned up to lunch wearing my frog’s leg jeans.
They didn’t quite fit around the ankles
but they matched my lily pad hat.
I started chatting to the windows,
cracking jokes to the ice tray in the freezer.
I can’t speak French but that didn’t stop me
greeting other guests in it. I kissed the kettle
as it boiled the water for the gravy and
gave names to every single blade of grass
in the back garden. The room was freezing cold,
so I stripped down to my sandpaper boxers
and sang Lady In Red down a carrot microphone.
I gave birth to a pig.
I shaved one of my arms.
I lost to the moon at snooker.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

No idea

A woman I used to work with walked past my flat today.
The last time we spoke I lived miles away.
Her strides were purposeful
but her shoulders looked relaxed.
She had no idea I was in my too-small dining chair
looking out the window through the purple tree.
She had no idea my bathroom has a little bin
stuffed with poo-filled nappies.
She had no idea I’ve invented songs for the bath.
She had no idea I was eating fried eggs.
She had no idea this morning was the first time
in a year my fingers wanted to hurt my skin.
She had no idea I didn’t let them because of a hand
on my shoulder asking me to be kind to myself.
She had no idea I live with a magician.
She had no idea I really liked her purple running shoes.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Best friends

You and your best friend George Clooney
are sat in the Pret by Vauxhall station
enjoying a coffee. You have a decaf latte,
George has a flat white.
He asks you how your morning was
and you start to tell him all about getting up early
to feed our son after a difficult night but
George manages to nervously bring the
conversation
round to ER and how Ocean’s Twelve gets a bad rap.
You smile in that way that makes the sun rise
and George feels safe to complain about his bad back.

© Carl Burkitt 2020