Taxis on Old Pye Street
I stand – profile toward the wind hoping to mimic your breath on my neck.
Cars throw their lights. Ignored, they shatter on wet concrete.
Bleed out over tarmac.
As south of the river, clouds are pulled to earth. Sucked into the Heygate’s exposed foundations.
The memory of your brittle, cold fingers, still pressed into
my palm, lingers and I dwell on grinding those digits to dust.
This beauty is a menace.
I (vaguely) recall telling you that an x-ray of my uncle’s
shoulder looked like a crushed bag of crisps.
You didn’t flinch.
We talk of destroying each other.
Bus windows – blank canvasses. Fur-lined parka hoods etch fine-lines into condensation. Hearts and arrows traced by fingertips. (Initials.)
being published in The Dizziness of Freedom was an amazing way to engage with writers that understand, on a base level, what I’m writing about but I’d really just like some time to myself to work things through
You can simultaneously be pleased (grateful even) that your wife was offered the/her CBT course and jealous that all you have is the creased green slip of a repeat prescription. You can. But you can’t talk about it. You can’t talk about it after your (latest) discharge from ‘The Community Mental Health Team’. You can’t talk about it since you’ve found the optimal dosage of the latest of a (long old) list of mood stabilisers. 300mg allows you to sleep and… seemingly not much else (and you do/don’t acknowledge that at the time of writing those blister packs have remained untouched for weeks). And you can simultaneously feel better and so much fucking worse, but you can’t talk about it because there’s just nothing for scale – Okay, one last time. These are small, but the ones out there are far away. – And we measure our success by not letting blood or jumping out of the window or going up to that bridge that hangs over this city that will never be home. We are left to measure our own success after being constantly reminded that we’re worst placed to see it. Even Fabian knows that. And we can’t talk about it because talking is only one of the options available to us. An option obscured by Quetiapine (well, this time). We’ve got nothing for scale. And every single mental health professional I’ve come into contact with has raised the spectre of unrealistic expectations (even Fabian), but I don’t see how it’s unrealistic to assume we might explore all the options available to us and why no one ever mentioned that I might need to prepare myself for feeling bitter toward my wife.
David Turner is the founding editor of the Lunar Poetry Podcasts series, has a City & Guilds certificate in Bench Joinery along with the accompanying scars, is known to the Bristol, Kristiansand and Southwark Community Mental Health Teams as a ‘service user’ and has represented Norway in snow sculpting competitions. Widely unpublished. Working-class. Picket line poet. He will publish his first book with Hesterglock Press in 2019.