New cheeks

I’m a hairy boy. My body’s getting bigger.
My ears are full of curls and my eyes
can see more than eyebrows.
My face is thick. My fingers have new
candy floss cheeks to play with.
I caught some cucumber on my chin-Velcro today
like a fluffy baseball glove doing its job.
I’m a hairy boy. My body’s getting bigger.
I don’t recognise my shadow. I have the silhouette
of decisions I’ve always chosen not to make.
I’m Tarzan growing the jungle from my pores.
I’m a mole on Bigfoot’s back.
I’m a welcome mat not quite up to the job.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

The buses are empty

The buses are empty.
But they keep going.
Morning, noon and night
they drive by my living room window
with the eeriness of a hearse
heading back to its garage.
It’s like the ghosts have opted
for a cheaper commute home.
It’s strange not seeing a bus stop.
They’re like hungry sharks never sleeping.
Always moving.
The buses are empty.
But they just keep going.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Zoom

My world is getting smaller,
but everyone’s in my front room.
My nephew’s on the dining table
bouncing on a trampoline.
My niece is planting cucumbers
hovering above a keyboard.
I saw an executive on the bed,
a director on the toilet, an officer by the toaster.
House parties want me to dance down a lens.
I’ve got my therapist in my ear
as I sit on my own sofa.
The faces that made me are squashed together
lying across my palm.
My world is getting smaller
and the entire universe is trying to climb in.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Yacht Week

Every Week Should Be Yacht Week.
Never have words on a poster,
written in the language I speak,
felt more alien to me.
What about Jogging Bottoms Week,
Feet Up On The Sofa Week
or Salt and Vinegar Pringles Week?
How about Giving It A Go Week,
Screaming Into The Void Week
or A Packet of Mini Twisters Week,
Why can’t every week be
the week before we got that phone call?

© Carl Burkitt 2020

My limbs remember

Most mornings I scream myself awake.
It’s a full on guttural yell as my limbs remember
they have blood in them.
It’s the kind of noise a corpse would make
if you jammed jumper cables in its ribs.
I feel like roadkill when the sun comes up.
I’m chewing gum on the arse of your jeans.
I’m like the part of a pancake holding on
to a bit of peeled away non-stick magic
on my mattress frying pan.
I like looking back on how my day went at night,
it means I did it again.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Bowing shelves

The shelves on my bookcases are bowing.
Not because they’re overstuffed with literature
but because they’re doorless wardrobes
with extra shelves screwed in.
Most days I feel like a cheap version
of the real thing struggling to do its job.
I’m a floorboard with a nail sticking out,
a washing machine with no door.
I’m a room temperature freezer, a deflated football.
I can be a fluffless rug, a toothless tiger.
I sometimes don’t drink water when I’m thirsty
because I’m in one of the rooms with no taps.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Short John Silver

The young boy stood
on the back of the moving pram
pointing his telescope arm diagonally to the sky
like a lookout pirate spotting danger.
He was Short John Silver of the seven-year-old seas.
His dad steered through the choppy tarmac
with black bag shipwrecks for eyes
and a heart of hidden treasure.
I was across the road, anchored to my desk.

© Carl Burkitt 2020