Wave

Eyelid skin is too thin for light.
A lamp in the morning
may as well be a midnight sunrise.
The veins in my hands are always visible.
It’s a good job they’re under the duvet
when my wife flicks the switch at 7am,
my blood gets a chance to lie in.
You can see my knuckle bones
when I clench my fists.
I try my best to wave.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Speedily

You know those speedily said sentences
at the end of chirpy radio adverts like,
Early-repayment-charges-apply-
lending-subject-to-status-and-criteria-
your-home-may-be-repossessed-
if-you-do-not-keep-up-with-
payments-on-your-mortgage
?
I think that would be a great way
to say awkward things to friends.
Like, You’ve-got-something-in-your-teeth.
Or, Sorry-I-can’t-make-it-to-your-40th.
Or, Tonight-meant-more-to-me-than-
you’ll-know-I’m-gonna-miss-you
.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Bye house

I once said Goodbye to a poo
when I flushed it down the toilet.
I was incredibly drunk.
Last week I said See ya
to my final mouthful of toast.
When I leave the house with my
nephew or nieces I tell them to
Say goodbye to the house.
They say Bye house!
Tonight I hugged a man in silence,
wishing I was drunk,
wishing he was a poo.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Rings

I knew a man who had a face
like he was forever walking against the wind,
like he was always holding dog poo bags.
He had the face of someone perpetually stuck
in the middle of two sneezes.
The face of someone just waiting
for the Frisbee to hit the back of his head.
The kind of face you wish you chopped down
to read its rings when you had the chance.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Ladles

It’s hard not to think about
how many hands touch
the tongs and spoons
at an all you can eat buffet.
Parties of germs reserving
a space on plastic handles.
Fingerprints left behind on ladles,
longing for a familiar set of unique
swirls to come and join them.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Witness

I’ve never been good at wearing watches.
Despite being right-handed, I struggle
to wrap a strap around my left wrist.
So if I do wear a watch,
I wear it on my right wrist
and that never feels comfortable
when using a pen or throwing stuff.
False imprisonment is my biggest fear
and never knowing the correct time makes me
hope I never witness a crime.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Sooner

I’m dying to go to the loo.
I’m dying for some crisps.
I’m dying to see that film.
I’m dying for a drink.

I often think of him
surrounded by other ghosts
with empty bladders, fistfuls of Pringles,
bums on cinema seats, sipping large Cokes,
when all he wanted
was to get home a little sooner.

© Carl Burkitt 2020