you look at the moon in the knowledge
that all those you love live under her
flimsy like a rainbow. just a change
of direction, or the weather, and they’re gone.
manifold pigments shot into space.
in this neck of the woods
at this time of night
bleeding red plonk and pharmaceuticals
my little white star misses me
elle me manque; my stella.
and there’s a hole inside
this whole wise witch
who casts not spells but curses.
i’m lost without you, stellar angel.
wailing into the moonlit sky
my husband has gone missing again
perhaps taken this time by an opportunist sniper
and the children don’t come home
though i keep calling
into the darkness; hello little bear,
ursula, my second daughter.
hello half cut moon lying
on your side rocking as a boat without anchor
with no sight of shore.
someone tied me to the mast
so that I could paint that same storm
over and over as if I hadn’t seen it
a thousand times.
and what it comes down to is this:
that no number of clumsy lines of verse
or clumsy lines drawn near dawn
or how much paint daubed in passion, or anger,
all this counts less than a little piece of crap
when my husband has gone awol
and my babies never come home.
and all the love in this feeble heart
beats without time
when there is no table to lay for supper.
if you came this way under cover
cloaked in darkness, lady of the night
who would you meet down this dark alley
lined with raw eggs and used prophylactics?
only me, mae west with a pistol
pleased to see you
pistil and stamen minus fertilisation.
such a pretty open flower
with all her life ahead
my children beckoning, smiling
from the untaken snapshots.
what a piece of work is man
so noble, so brave with weapon drawn
take forty paces, turn, misfire
shots falling on empty ears.
i never thought it would come to this
in the half light half life
staring down the barrel of a half drunk bottle
being half bleeding clever