Day after day

He’s telling me about how
his label machine is the god damn slowest thing
the world has ever seen, it smudges ink
all over envelopes and if the Post Office
don’t do something about it soon
he will have to write a strongly worded letter.
A packet of Quavers sits on the counter
between us. He stamps his foot and asks me
if there’s anything else I need and thanks me
for understanding about the god damn wait.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

She calls me Craig

and I am finally him
whipping crosses in the box
for the handsome boys to head the ball
into the goal, rolling my shoulders
like they were monster truck wheels,
shooting finger pistols at strangers
firing back smile bullets. She calls me Craig
and I’m in the park pretending
I understand how to kiss with my lips
and like the taste of Sour Chewits.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Watching him

There’s no way the man on the telly had
enough time to fill the lake with lit lanterns
while his new girlfriend had a bath.
His bar is never full enough
for him to live next to the lake. I never see him
working out to get his body
and his favourite food is French fries.
There can’t be any wind where he lives
otherwise his hair would move at least an inch
from time to time. I like watching him
holding an axe. He never swings it,
he never sweats, he never overthinks it.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

A Few Minutes In Barnardo’s

I get the feeling
a Shirley Bassey fan has died.
His records are standing in a row
like flowers lined up at a doorway,
ill-fitting running tops on rails
hanging like abandoned dog leads
in a barely used hallway.
I wonder if this teapot is his;
the one with the black handle, chipped spout,
fingerprints that forgot how to press
the green button on a phone.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Picking a punnet of cherries outside a greengrocer’s at midnight

The café says it serves All the drinks.
There’s an average looking tree
with a piece of tape wrapped around the trunk
saying Do not use. A man covered in paint
just high-fived himself on a roundabout.
Is it possible to be in lust a with a city?
If you look too closely, you might fall in love
and out of love and back in love,
so I just borrow London’s coat for a weekend,
walk around like I used to,
watch someone picking a punnet of cherries
outside a greengrocer’s at midnight
and blow the tarmac a kiss.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

A quick chat

lTHE GP: Thank you for telling me.

THE MAN WEARING THE HAWAIIAN SHIRT:
That’s OK. I can’t lie, I’m sitting
on a roadside right now and it’s 11pm
and giant BBQ Hula Hoops exist
and the man with no hair and a white t-shirt is
whistling the Match of the Day theme tune
and I am yet to do to myself
what I’ve always wanted to and Volvic Water
tastes like Evian Water and the man
with no hair and a white t-shirt is whistling
and oh my goodness 24 hours is custard
and bloody hell a man in a North Face Jacket
just walked past with a thumbs up
and a Get up, go home, you’ll be fine.

THE GP: Goodbye.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Bang

I am sitting on a bin
13.8 billion years ago.
A disco ball yet to be invented
is spinning inside the pub
that will one day stand here.
Men wearing white t-shirts
with the word MEAT across their chest
are telling me to smile
and I will
because this is where
the Big Bang will occur,
any minute now.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Hard

There is a boy called Carl
being told off by his mum
in the soft play centre.
I don’t know what he did
but he has a smile on his face
like it was worth it.
My son is throwing balls
out of the ball pit
and I don’t know what to do.

© Carl Burkitt 2022