The bug

We are woken by the screams.

We run in two’s. Bare feet pounding

Over floor boards.

Pictures flashing

In our minds,

Of all the worsts.

We kick aside the remnants of last night

Crumpled towels and toy cars

Littered at our feet

Hands scrambling

like snakes, for the lights.


The smell hits us first

And we feel our breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Reappearing together.

But it’s got him first.

He’s standing up

Damp browed and wide eyed

Surrounded by his sickly creation.

In awe, at what his little body

Has produced.


And then come the words.

The shouts and the orders

And the questions

And the cries

And the struggle

of moving and handling and undressing

and washing away

and the cries.

And the cries

And the cries.


And together

We place him to bed

clean clothed and powdered

armed with tubs and tea towels

we never knew we had,

awaiting the next strike.

His little snores breaking through the silence.

In the night.



The Flicker of a Picture

We hold each other with our eyes. Him hanging over me as I lay back on the foam bed. The gel painting my skin cold while the nurse smiles.

Then we all turn together and face the screen.

In a moment, we become three.

His hand slips over mine. Our fingers lace, connecting us through bone. The nurse pushes down hard. Our shape comes to life in waves of white, no bigger than a whisker.

Twelve weeks and two days the nurse says.

And he turns his head from the screen. His hand trembles in mine

It’s not your fault I say

You didn’t choose this disease

She wipes the gel with a tissue that feels rough and I pull my top down to my waist.

No need to book another scan I say

And she prints me off a picture

That I know I can’t keep.

wild tears



from friends to lovers

Tonight you held my head

when it was wet

with wild tears.

and you bathed the scars

and the wounds


with the blood of the night.

you took my screams

and my sadness

and the fear,

and you wrapped it up tight.

and you said

‘it’s going to be alright’.

and that was just enough.



To a friend I fucked over.


I want you to know that we didn’t make love.

We didn’t connect 

and lie back

and talk of dreams

on that worn out rug

 in the deserted flat.

We didn’t eat breakfast

or drink coffee

or whisper our dreams

and our secrets

into fresh kissed ears.


I want you to know

It was quick


unpractised and unplanned.

There was no warming up

or cigarettes.

I wonder if it helps  to know that I suffered

and I wept,

 I wept for you.


Not for my loss of you,

But for you losing him,

because I was tough.

By then,

and you were soft and weak, and gentle, and beautiful

and better than me.


I see him now

Looking at his hands

Swallowed by mittens

Too thick for little fists.

They are flecked

with spots of white,

a scattering of winter’s dust

Or the ash from a fire- long dead.


He lifts one hand,

To explore with his tongue

In a hot lick,

Or kiss.

His eyes smile

When he tastes winter

for the first time,

Sucking its sweetness

as he laughs,

Leaning his golden head back

Catching flakes with the bare skin of his face.

Spinning, the sky circling his eyes

the ground is transforming

Around him

Fading white