How to survive an apocalypse

Last Thursday I stroked a horse and muzzled it before it leant
askew. There were ghosts in its hair that played in even the lightest
of breezes. A tap tap tap and away it moved; the sun was
a cold ghost behind it.

You can find me by the water skimming stones with a rich need to
impress anyone who’ll watch. They don’t come back, no matter how
hard I try to picture them in my mind. The river bed has them now
though I’m not sure it is thankful.

I hope sometimes the ground will shift with a soft pop pop pop
and then that’d be it. Every time my mum calls me I assume I need
to iron another shirt. I spend too much time just trying to remember
the faces of people.

I can’t recall the last time I remembered a number and just dialled
it and that has formed itself into an acute, specific pain: binary,
engrams spill into the air with the toxic mendacity of a carbon
monoxide leak.

I caught a cold in your arms while you slept and slept and slept.
I remember only your critiques, and how I should water tomatoes
in a very particular way. In the end there’s nothing really to lose.
All our leaves yellow eventually.

Perhaps we tie our shoes the same way, and that’ll be the way that
we echo-locate over the top of the violent cloud systems that wrap
and churn. The muscle memory renders me inadequate, as I tie a bow
and scan the ever-growing crowd of lost faces.


A fly in ointment
makes waves
that draw smiles

Lap at the edges
of a Petri dish
as though enthused

Climb for sides
but slip beneath
and reach nowhere

Splash as if it
mattered but be gone
before I open my eyes

Do you remember these words?

Crimes will be measured ‘fore a crowd
that braves iced wind. I will define this motion
in the eyes of the living and the not-so-living. In
me you have a cured saviour; a windswept
giant that you gawp at en masse with shivered
smiles and sheepish sniffing noses. Be my
children, wet, wry and cold, as I was a child
to those before me. These walls hang staring
smiles, now anon and gazing, and enclose
what words are uttered with stillness. Gallop
for a new world and I will shoulder what I may;
find love in me and I will take these cloistered
dreams to a world anew. I am your king and
you will love me.