Too Young for Wearing Black
Laura Kenny (@LauraRacquel)
I am too young to clothe myself in mourning black.
A little mirror image of he who takes the living from the world.
I’ve hidden away the person that I was –
In a shroud of dark that drifts through streets with
Beagle eyes, ever-edged with tears, I drudge
With nothing to carry but thoughts of you
Like dumb bells that clang and drag me
To keep me in stride with this heavy heaving heart.
The water should have been the dangerous part.
I wish it were that he might have met Poseidon
Wrenching waves against his safety – but not this.
This was meant as just an off-ramp in your life.
The signs had pointed you that way and off you sloped
Towards the greener place where neighbours talked
Where happiness like strangers walked
And touched on every person every place.
‘Reza’ they would call you with confusion left unmasked,
Pronouncing hesitation as to your creed and plaque –
And say your name all broken as would break a mother’s heart.
The culture should have been the dangerous part.
You’d bare your skin unto the sun and bear the burn
That peels away the blacklist place you’re from.
With sideways glances made of some
Humphrey Bogart design from the layman,
Of the land you’d landed on.
Tongue tied, twisted up in loops of houses, cars and friends,
Or bankrupt, thin and hungry, stretched too far your heart –
How could the people be the dangerous part?
What was I supposed to but believe you my own son?
You said they’d take you in and you’d be safe,
But not this – and now your father never speaks.
It’s always someone’s father, someone’s mother,
Someone’s sister, someone’s brother, someone’s lover.
But not this – can it be my turn under the wheel?
You’re not a headline and you’re nobody’s statistic,
You’re just mine.
I barely knew where Papua New-Guinea was.
The last word you spoke was I’ll call you soon.
I let myself think ‘Maybe he will’ – my boy with the fiery heart.
The water should have been the dangerous part.
You have become a present to someone,
Dropped as by Saint Nicholas in the night down a
Need-to-sweep-me Chimney and shot clean
As the stuff of life into a body with soul.
There’s a minute left to midnight
And it creaks through my sights
Like a car, swimming headlights and brakes that can’t stop;
An Achilles who’s hatched out the plan none would swap –
There’s a tearing of thunder, a cloud weeping thin –
Like the face torn off rubber of your tyres in spin.
Tonight they took your heart boy,
I can only shake in this hospital foyer unable to say the word.
Younger than Hamlet and snared by your springe,
But for you – dumbfounded- it was simple as sin.
I never had the time to look –
Pay attention to his toys and tricks.
You were less than twenty minutes gone
When your blood to poison turned and burned
Your sense off in an alcohol vapour flash.
Tonight I lost your heart boy,
And it wears my old wires thin.
I find distraction in old passions – joys I can sit in.
Skating shickle shackle on the ice I feel each chink,
Like speed bumps left there, worn into the road to
Catch my sprint – as it caught you.
I gasp – the air of crystal shards sinks deep into the lungs
As in circuits I sweep round and round
Resounding mantras for emptying the mind –
Then crash! I’ve found the outer wall all wobbling
Bumps and bruises and heart beats like a squall.
I’m stuck forever here in the crinkle cut and clear aired road side wreck,
From which I can’t emerge, I’m in your net.
Turn on a heel and heat from the hot
Young bloods on the floor as they croon
Spill and slop, the millionth beer and the handsome ones leer
At the girls, underdressed, underserved, underslept.
He did not love her I think, just the idea of love –
It was the idea he kept feeding drinks.
The girl he was going with – a romance pink
With the blush of misapprehensions.
I would gladly take whatever
If only I’d sensed him to stay home that night.
He was the back of my hand.
The hole in my pocket that made him mine.
The way he answered the phone in my voice, with my smile.
I cannot find the words to say that twenty something years
Of purpose just drank themselves away into oblivion –
As a queen who lost of crown would wane
As Pyrrhus from his city-pyre
Calling out a wailing prayer
I find myself in life’s old habits spare
Superfluous and half-raised
From each sleep, re-reading passages you loved to read.
Most days are the Perfect Day for Bananafish these days
You always hated Seymour, and he’s me.
I am the new moon and all I see is the light of the old moon fading,
My one delight, your childish toy, grown discoloured from my touch
A dog eared book from greedy over-thumbing – loved too much.
And even you my Danny Boy, I must let shrink away,
And shadowed swoon into the night and let alone the stars.
We wearing black now
That death is not a predator that snoops in late at night,
That saunters up the hallway to have you in one bite.
Death is but a thought you have, a thorn stuck in your side,
A childhood friend that pits your dreams with fears you must abide.
A door to doorman, visitor, the auditor of life
Who by a whim, not clockwork, can skint us all with