Things my child might say about me

He’s pretty tall.
He sings in the shower.
He talks a lot about his goal at The County Ground.
He thinks his beard is nice.
He talks a lot about his goal at The County Ground.
He really likes Pringles.
He cries a lot at films.
He doesn’t like coconuts.
He makes decent fried eggs.
He cries a lot at adverts.
He think his scrambled eggs are good.
He cries a lot at books.
He likes Mum a fair bit.
He cries a lot when he thinks I’m not looking.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Made of fingernails

I’d bite anything
if it was made of fingernails.
Right down to the cuticles.
I’d happily swim in judgement
as I nibbled a translucent puppy,
a crunchy postbox.
Imagine the filth underneath a sofa
made of fingernails.
It would taste like pudding to me
in a world of stress relief.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Game night

In the evenings
I feel like a dusty shelf of games.
My bones are loose Jenga blocks.
My fingers are KerPlunk sticks.
The toothpick size scar on my left arm,
the keyholes on my left knee
and the tiny cross on my wrinkled scrotum
are countless rounds of Operation.
Every orifice is a circle on a Twister mat.
My freckles and moles are dot to dots,
my mind a half full Scrabble bag
with an I here, an O there,
and more than one Y.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Cartoon

If I was a cartoon the first thing I’d do
is run through a wall and leave a hole
the shape of my body behind.
I’d draw a semicircle on a skirting board
and shuffle through like a mouse.
I’d boink myself on the head with a giant anvil
off a cliff. I’d run in that way
where you furiously spin your legs on the spot
before shooting off with a squeak of trainers
and puff of smoke behind you.
I’d melt underneath a doorway.
I’d ask for the channel to be changed
and have some time alone.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Thirty two degrees

I swapped my blood for lava.
I swapped my eyes for charcoal.
I swapped my fingers for matches
and ran them across sandpaper.
I swapped my heart for a bonfire.
I swapped my anus for chilli peppers.
I swapped my sweat for kettle water.
I swapped my tongue for something.
I swapped my toes for candle wax.
I swapped my arms for something.
I swapped my hair for something
and my teeth for something else.
I swapped.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

The difference

I met a sunrise today;
she had a Sainsbury’s name badge on.
She shone behind the checkout
with a warmth reserved for family reunions.
She was a conveyor belt of charm.
She complimented my Doritos.
She asked me if I was really OK
after I told her I was OK thanks.
She cheered when she saw my Nectar Card.
She said she hadn’t seen my wife for a while
and that she must be far along by now.
I’ve never wanted to take care of myself
as much as I did when she told me to.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Acknowledgements

Before reading a book
I flick to the back and read
the thank yous, the acknowledgements.
Before the inevitable journey
of death and struggle and grief
and pain and break ups and death
I enjoy sitting with the strangers
who helped the author through it.

© Carl Burkitt 2020