Poem In Which Codeine Doesn’t Take The Edge Off

You haven’t written in six months, O terror of terrors, O clot of dark in my heart. I write to you still, and it reaches you somehow, like the smattering of rain that hits the bus window as you stare out over the landscape. That’s me. And the football those kids booted in your belly. That was me too. You don’t get to escape from me, I have a lifetime of haunting to do. I saw a picture of you; your hair hasn’t fallen out, you still need glasses, still squint. Your headaches turn into my headaches. When the paracetamol doesn’t take the edge off, that’s you. When I’m reaching for the codeine, that’s you. And I would punch you in the head if you were here, in the flesh. It’s called progress. I am not waiting for a letter. You are not waiting for a letter. It comforts me to think you read my books. You read them and you suffer little paper-cuts. You read them and your temples bruise. I wish you no harm. Sometimes I wish you would write, but I’m afraid there’s nothing so delicate as that, O moonbeam, O poet in the night, O honest miracle. Now I exist leagues from your heart. I still find your poems hidden between the pages of my books, toying with the idea of making my love-hearts leap. I read them in my own voice, not yours. Yours is caught somewhere between the tide and the mountains of rain-cloud. O my mute harbinger, O danger, you will never remember thirst, or the taste of me and the gutted sea.

Melissa Lee-Houghton

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Poems In Which | Dollie Stephan

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