dark

Once We Were Lovers

I need you
again
like it was
when it was golden

in my bed
in my lungs
curled up
deep and tight

before
forked tongues split
lies and hate
festered in our skulls

my heart
it is yours
in the darkness, alone
with my breath

rasping
my heart…

Remembering
feet thumping
doors slamming, hard
how could you be so hard?

Your words pounding
my fists pounding
my cheeks
no longer rosy

not like the day
we met by that wild ocean

in amongst the tall
elm trees and
ghostly apparitions
how I feared those strangers

you carried me
away on whispers
promises, kisses
no more

No longer mine
No, not anymore.

take my heart
I no longer want it
now that it is yours
and you are gone.

Like Fire

I forgot that I had loved you
With a love that must
have seeped away
Slinking like a wet cat
into a dark corner

On my door step
you covered my eyes
A tar black curtain,
thick and smoky
Choking my lungs

Crawling back into me
Cosy under my flesh
You nestled, warmly
Melded like concrete
set solid on my bones

Shake you off?
I mustn’t.

My lips are not my lips
They are moving
Quivering, on your fingertips
Pillows soft and pink, open
Pouting marionette

Your hands, clawing, gripping
My little puppet heart
spilling blood straining
Rhythmic sporadic seizures
Bleeding, pumping, forcing

The smell of you, unrelenting
Boots near my bed
Dark hair, spider legs
foreign and curly
in my basin, on my soap

Poisoned apple, indomitable
You fill the room, baneful
Toxic with your smile
Toxic with your lies
I swallow them wholeheartedly

There are no stars here now
You blew them out
Twisted candles on my cake
Do not wish upon them
Those charred soldiers are dead

I forgot that I had loved you
With a love that must have
fallen into memory filled cracks
Love filled floorboards,
filled with hate
and like fire.

The Trumpet Player

     It had been almost three months since we had said goodbye. There was crying and raging and my favourite vase got smashed. The nice blue one my mother gave me just before she died. It had all been too much. The late night jam sessions fuelled by booze that brought a black clouded mass to our white washed apartment. The filthy dishes piled up in the sink, the overflowing ashtrays, the empty syringes. You had me so trapped with those addictive poetic mumbles that spurt out your mouth into mine before travelling down to settle in my heart.

     Farewells are rarely forever and your sugar-laced voice still holds me tightly against the wall, your fingertips remain gently entwined around my wrists. “Just one more time” you promise me.

     Saturday night comes around quickly and I make my way downtown. The last glimpses of sun highlight the sky various shades of orange. I slip through a crack in the doorway and wander down the cement smeared corridor entering the dark intensity of the club. The walls are painted smoky shades and people are already seated three feet from the red and blue illuminated stage. The tables are small and candle lit. The naked flames dance away in the reflection of my eyes. I drink down the cool, clear sparkle of my vodka tonic in silent anticipation for all the players to take their places.

     It takes two shots of whisky and a flat, foreign beer before finally the trumpet player arrives. Slowly and gingerly, three men leave their drinks at the bar and make their quiet way to the platform. Each one is about forty and dressed in a bohemian array of old suede sneakers, faded black jeans and corduroy. They all have a fine shadow of stubble and their hair generously licked with grey. The trumpet player lifts himself up from his chair and stalks his way over to join the other musicians, a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Once positioned, he unwraps his instrument from her velvet shroud and runs his fingertips along her thin neck. Wetting his lips in anticipation, he tips his face towards the sky. Cautiously he begins to weave his humming breath and the crowd is suddenly charmed like cobras with taunting bursts of sharp melody. The kaleidoscopic judder hits the ceiling, fractures and scatters down greedily consumed.

     The supercharged drummer taps away furiously. An exotic explosion of tribal Moroccan beats reverberates around the room, moving bodies in seats and feet in empty spaces. Every now and then during one of these solo confessions the trumpet player crouches down on one knee. Cradling his instrument like a lover in his arms he looks down at her with a glimmer of contempt while nodding his head to the strong, bird wing flutter of the bongo drums. He takes a quick sip of a pink alcoholic mess of a drink and wipes sweat from his heavy brow. His glassy eyes flash a cold razorblade gaze through the soft naked flesh in front of him. This executioner raises his brass seductress back to his lips and breathes into her, bringing the world back to life. In the planned chaos, a complex fusion of deliberate composition and improvised verset resounds through the crowded floor space embedding dynamic vibrations in every open ear. An exquisite clamour in the lust speckled, spirit soaked room.

     When it is all over I am left supercharged, my body enticed, my blood churned. Then suddenly you are there surrounding me. Your sweet, electrifying touch envelops me and claws away at my senses. “Just this one more time” you whisper in my ear. We stumble out into the hazy night, sensually infused and ride in the back of the taxi seated like anxious lovers. Back in my den my blonde mistress prepares herself. She is eager and warm and ready to penetrate. The silver spoon already discarded I press the needle tip into my arm and I admire the way the light dances in her amber coloured tears. I slowly inject the yellow junk into my vein before leaning down and picking up my trumpet. As that familiar rush surges through me I place you gently against my lips and begin to play our song, one last time.

© JULIETTE GILLIES

Hell Hath

     “You are lucky to be alive”, the nurse told her.

     “Can you describe him?” Asked the policeman.

     “Describe who?” The woman asked.

     “The intruder. The person who attacked you.”

     Had she said that? Had she really said there had been an intruder? The woman could barely move on the hospital gurney. The stitches pulled with each breath and she was thirsty. She watched news reports about a young woman who had been attacked in the kitchen of her home and was now recovering in hospital. She didn’t realise at first they were talking about her. Her work colleagues sent her flowers and her mother visited every day. He came too of course with false sincerity and crocodile tears in his eyes. Not for a second did she doubt that after he left each night he went to ‘her’. He and his slut were free to roll around on the 1200 count Egyptian cotton sheets all night if they wished, now that she was conveniently confined to a hospital bed.

     It took a little while for her to realise that the physical description she had given of the intruder matched her husband perfectly. The police noticed it sooner. When they questioned him he denied it of course but then she played them the voice message from his whore telling her was a terrible wife and that she should “just drop dead”. She had her phone in her hand when the maid found her outstretched in a pool of blood on the marble kitchen floor. Her husband turned up much later at the hospital with no alibi. Naturally his fingerprints were all over the knife. It was the one he used to cut up meat when they had barbecues. She didn’t exactly say he had tried to kill her but for some reason any effort to protest his innocence refused to push past her lips.

     The lawyer told her it was an open shut case. They were even considering a charge against his bitch for conspiracy. Of course she didn’t tell anyone the stab wound was self-inflicted. That she had listened to the voice message, walked calmly into the kitchen and grabbed the knife. She had fully intended to bury the cold steel blade deep into her heart but filled with misery the poor organ must have retreated to the size an acorn. When she plunged the sharp edge into her chest she missed her heart completely. A full recovery was expected. With the attempted murder charge against her husband, she was sure she would get to keep the house. She made a mental note to burn the sheets.

© JULIETTE GILLIES