You don’t have to believe in God

to talk to invisible people

I talk to ancestors and fantasy characters

at the age of 4 and now

with dragon tail, blue velvet or without

the same lonely light leaches in

my bedroom window in the morning

the same quiet clock ticks

at my breakfast table at 8am

my father had gone to work and I

was supposed to shod my sensible shoes

and walk to school with the rest of the nesting dolls

but school never held any allure

not like the tall tree at my grandmothers

where wild seemed possible.

In the city it is harder to be feral

you really have to try

to find an empty roof top or

somewhere you can fly

smoke curling from your lips

as you sink down into laudanums embrace

you gave me the open mouth of frenzy

beneath the expensive duvet your mother bought you

patchouli and mouse musk of basement flats

sad over-priced tenements facing each other

like women without make up averting their eyes.

I wore red lipstick to stand out

from pavement slabs and wet robed regret

the slippery eel of turgid river and human debris

and when I lay beneath you I had

so many dreams for us

they died against the rocks of Santorini

I never made it to Lesbos

not that year, but some year ahead

in a future opaque with liquored longing

I took a woman with lips like licorice and cough candy

she tasted sweet and salty like a swooping sea bird

and she cried like conch shells will sound the ocean.

When they played Julee Cruise  on the radio I betrayed her

with your memory and volcanic ash

on an island where lost boys played cards at 2am

and broken girls came to pilgrimage

watching their future selves washed up

on the shores of tourist beaches littered with ember

where lovers met on trains outside Paris

and hated each other by the time they got to Prague

those sleeper beds had steel fingers

so you pulled the matress to the floor and said

let’s be quiet

but i’ve never been good at following rules

I’ve never been able to play within the lines

when I was four and learning to live without a tail

or yesterday when you said wait for me

and I ran ahead

because I’m always chasing

that lost appendage

the parts of myself fallen with time

growing forests

thick and wild

deep enough to cry in

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