It hasn’t really

When I walk
my hip clicks
in a way that says
Oh, I’ve seen some things.
It hasn’t really.
Yeah sure it’s ran the odd mile
and touched a couple of naked ladies
and dipped itself in sea water,
but that’s about it.
The day you died
all my hip did was take me
to buy a couple of Orange Reefs
and piss in a phone box.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

All I could think about

I wanted to write a poem about the ocean
and the way it looks like a zoomed in eye
and how there are worlds out of our reach
down there and how we were the ocean
and are the ocean and will be again one day
and how waves just know what they’re doing
and how the salt in the water reminds me
of the time I paddled with chicken pox
wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt
but all I could think about was you drowning
so I stopped.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Penned in

I’ve never seen a kneecap
in a curry house.
Leg skin commonly lives in
the tunnel of a trouser,
but last night my eye
blinked at a samosa and smiled
to the peripheral view of dinner shorts.
A set of pins not penned in
by the suggested dress code
of faceless men from the Dead Age.
I imagined wearing a tuxedo
in a bubble bath, a fez to a funeral,
a set of goalie gloves to a cocktail bar,
a smile to a conversation
where I’m present but not seen.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Desperate

I’m watching a butterfly
flying in the face
of Labrador in a pub garden
and thinking about the time
I got kicked in the face
outside a nightclub.
The foot had a life of its own.
It fluttered like it wasn’t sure
what it wanted to do
and my head lay still
either lost or desperate for it.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

The worst

The green veins
in the side of your head
show up best
when you poo.
They pop
like the milk spot
on your nose,
the cat curiosity
in the black of your eyes,
the rasp of your breath
when I’m sound asleep
thinking of the worst.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Lemonade and gravy

I see you in liquids.
Your eyes are the warmth of custard,
the fizz of lemonade,
the smoothness of your gravy
rolling over the crispiest potatoes.
Your chest is an Olympic swimming pool,
your bones are a holiday waterpark.
Puddles stare at their reflection in you.
I see you in liquids,
fitting inside the most resistant spaces.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

A face that isn’t mine

There’s a plastic duck in my bath
with a digital clock on its back.
When the water is too hot
the screen screams red in anger.
When the water is too cold
it stays yellow and beep beeps caution.
When the water is ready to let you in
it gives a thumbs up green.
When I stand in a supermarket queue
or one of the six lifts at work
or wake up with a face that isn’t mine
I wish my spine would change colour.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

Two friends and a dog called Pigs

Our bathroom is a bus stop.
The toothbrushes are softball bats
and the wash bin is my backpack.
The skirting board is a kerb
for a stray dog called Pigs
to sit on and lick every drop
of water from the puddle in my hand
and the mirror is your phone taking pictures.
Her eyes were understandably dead
but even they could see what was going on.
I’m glad yours did too.

© Carl Burkitt 2020

New skin

If I could swim with the strength
and confidence I would like,
I’d kick through the veins in your hand.
I’d butterfly up your arm and across your chest
and land in your heart to have a nosey
at all the things you love dearly: puking, screaming, collecting fluff between your toes,
pooing the green of grass stains you may get
on your knees one day, pissing, staring,
having bath water splashed up your arse,
peeling off my skin each day
and allowing me to start all over again.

© Carl Burkitt 2020