Fictional breath

I like to pretend I’m not real:
change my accent, comb my hair,
wear trainer socks, tell stories
about the way I’ve been up to no good.
There will be days
people want to listen to the sound
of things falling into place,
the sound of your world relaxing,
the sound of what could always be.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

The Man City academy boys are walking down the road

They are chugging orange Lucozade Sports,
spitting on the path, taking selfies of their hair.
They are peacocks. They are tap dancers.
They are magicians at a party we are not invited to.
I’ve never seen so many knees in January.
Half of their ears have wireless headphones plugged in.
Their smiles are goalie glove wide.
Their sky blue tops hold them in hope
like a skydiver clutching their parachute straps.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

I could watch you watching trains until I no longer have eyes

What did I do before you were born?
Worry about someone else’s death, I guess.
When your lip exploded in the Waitrose car park
yesterday I felt Grandma’s hands
as my left cheek slid off like ham
in a supermarket’s deli meat slicer.
The man behind us in the pub says,
Trains don’t go ‘choo choo’ anymore,
they’re all electric these days
.
You take advantage of not understanding
full sentences and point through the window
at the track with passion stronger than time.
Choo choo. My bones relax like a suit
hung in a wardrobe after a wake.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Holding it together

He’s sitting in the window
stitching his minutes together
at the sewing machine.
The lights from the pet shop
are blinking in his direction
while the whiff of gherkins
pours in from the burger bar.
The world stomps past him
on busy feet. A fresh set of toes,
only two months into their job,
slow his eyes to a stop.
He waves a well worn hand
with the patience of thread
finding a needle. He is met
with the point of a miniature finger
to push his cheeks into a smile.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Bin men will wave

if you wave first
they might honk their horn
to keep a passion of yours
alive. Like a tree, you stand
still by the road captured in a moment
you’ve only seen in books
or on that YouTube compilation
we somehow found one day
when your teeth needed to get out
of your skull. The traffic lights
go green and the truck leaves
followed by a bus
you didn’t realised was there,
then your eyes; two engines
desperate to roar.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Nothing really changes

We roll up spare towels now,
have hollandaise in the fridge,
use a milk frother for our son’s cereal,
have unopened wine on the side,
go to bed when we’re tired,
get up before alarms,
have scented sticks in the bathroom
watch fewer sad dramas,
eat crisps in our pants,
get lost on our own,
count the number of tiles in the shower
in case we’re kidnapped
and need the answer to be freed.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

SNAP SNAP SNAP

They’re playing cards in the pub:
grandma with a stout,
grandad with a stout,
granddaughter with a
SNAP SNAP SNAP
and I think about you
putting a magnetic crocodile head
on to the body of a pig
SNAP SNAP SNAP.
You slap your head and say Doh!
when you drop something,
I whisper hope to the sun
that you will learn to not hide
when the dark thoughts come.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

Wink

The curtains have a thin wink
of moonlight peering through
at a pair of bodies;
one is creating a planet the
other will never see
while he sits awake
worrying about the air
in this one.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

He has eggs

He has eggs. He has eggs.
He won’t stop yelling it.
He has eggs. He has eggs.
He comes by this street
every two weeks
to give them away. He yells.
He has eggs. He has eggs.
He won’t stop yelling.
A half of me is trying to sleep
upstairs through paper walls.
He has eggs. He has eggs.
I hear the words over and over
and think about what
I am capable of these days.

© Carl Burkitt 2022