Barbed Wire Kiss

This jagged smile she plays for fun

An indelicate balance tilted in her favour

Such an exact science, applied and described

Crimson painted, plum or sea blue

It matters not

Styled for the moment, smudged with a wave

Exposed is an exposure kindly received

Works both ways she says

And I believe her because she’s grinning

It can only be glee, can’t it?

Trap set, locked and straining

The night vibrates with palpable anticipation

She closes. We close. They close

The next stage of a plan planted

Grown in a place where the sun don’t shine

Tended with steel wool and polish

Scrubbed to angelic perfection

Just awaiting the clack of horizontal gates closed

Where glinting blinds

So eyes are closed

The chink of twinned metal resonates through my spine

Pull away, but I can’t

Free yourself, but I won’t

And she has me, as she’s had those many others

Those tin soldiers, smelted and melted

Reduced to puddles of oozing goop

Sucked through barbed wire lips

With a straw for a tongue

I’ve lost. She’s won. All over

But the night is long and I own pliers

So perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow

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Sirens & Saviours

City049

She came at me through a smog of cigarette smoke, her hair a sea of pooling ebony, back to the door, sitting cross-legged on a bar stool. Her red dress, crimson like blood, had risen up to expose one virginal white garter — it hinted a subtle lie. She sipped on a bourbon empress of all, the eyes of the whole lousy bar upon her, both sexes, and a few I was unsure of. Decisions, decisions, I pondered, as my heart skipped a beat and lips grew dry.

The old man had one of those weathered faces contoured from a life hard fought and often lost. I caught him out of the corner of my eye sat to one side, unassuming like a garden gnome that had always happened to be there. We locked eyes for a moment, nothing more, but long enough for me to see his pinky finger waggle a warning: don’t do it, son, you’ll end up like me. I turned tail and ran.

He saved me from that liquor-downing siren. He granted me a freedom he’d never attained. And for an instant, I even felt sorry for him as I inhaled a deep breath of backstreet air, but not for long.

Behind the Veil

The veil did nothing to hide her allure. She peeped out from a four-by-one slash in the fabric of time and blotted out the universe with those eyes. When she blinked, my heart stopped. When those lashes of Egyptian rushes swept open, my heart leapt back into life. She controlled me without ever even knowing it, moved me without ever saying a word.

In a slow-moving blur of delicate silks, she slipped from market stall to market stall, whilst I kept pace by stalking the shadows. I needed the shade, was desperate for it, whilst she like the dusky rose she was just bloomed. The glaring sun was hers to wield, a necessary illumination like a ballerina on centre stage. Even in the bazaar sand, she barely stirred the dust. I marvelled at her grace.

I followed without a clue where she led. Out of the market and the hordes of humanity she breezed like a sirocco wind, down one of the white side streets that all looked the same and then another and another and another. She navigated the warren with the assuredness of Polo the Silk Road, me following as though on a string. When at last she came to a door of simple, unadorned white, noticeable against the stonework by less than a hairsbreadth of oval shade and raised her hand, I almost died. As her cuffs fell back to reveal cinnamon skin and nails of cerulean blue, I saw Allah had gifted her with more than just eyes to enthral Pharaohs. I had to make my move.

I slipped from the shadows like a spectre from the night. She turned, bowed low, and stepped aside. The three giants who leapt from the doorway deserved their prize. They took it, too.

My vanity in thinking her not only available, but mine, cost me everything I possessed and a little I never knew I owned. The eyes of the woman behind the veil might have captured my soul, but the men she served owned it. Another European made a slave through sin, I often told the others she wasn’t worth it. I lied.

Have / Have Not

Authors Note: Just a little sample from a work in progress.

"I have seen the stars and the wonders of a billion, billion galaxies. I have seen the birth of beginnings and the death of the end, the two forces that control us in their endless dance. In that place where light and darkness sweep each other away in opposing comforts, I have seen that which no other can imagine. Yet, in all of these miracles and more, I have never seen such as you. I have are two words spoken with ease, two I have used too readily, but until you, my love, I have never known have not."

Undeniable

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There was an undeniable truth to the fact she was a killer. Her eyes spoke of it, smile suggested it, and as for her figure, well… yum. She was everything a spark ignited, everything that made a dark dream dire. Her allure offset her demon. Her magnificence demanded respect. She was a little boy’s nightmare and a grown man’s fantasy, all this and more. Yet like all mysteries wrapped in purple, silk bows, she required exploring. What was the point in excess if one couldn’t partake of it? What was the point in deliverance if one had never needed delivering? I partook, she delivered. I lost, she won.

Black Satin

The night drips around me in liquid satin, a perfect black. I can taste its velvety texture, hear its thrumming silence, sense the still. The pause before the final breath, the hush before the breaking storm, darkness slips its fingers around my throat and squeezes with the subtle kindness of a misplaced love. I am choking. I want more.

Waking to dust mites caught in a single beam of gold, I wave the day away. Take me back, I whisper. Let me go. But the sun will not relinquish me; it never does. I pull up the covers and wait.

When you arrive all bloodshot eyes and scimitar smile, the darkness comes with you. This is your world, your eternity, and as I reveal the outline of my eager neck, I dream of it being mine too. I wait. You nod. It is.

The One You Never Knew

Author’s Note: I don’t know why, but I had a sudden urge to write something dramatic.

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The tide rose in my wake determined to wipe me from the granite I clung to; it could not dislodge me. Fingers like limpets pressed to the rock as I scrambled, clambered and crawled. The clear air made fire of a throat used to the liquid nectar of a saline sea, yet still I fought my way towards storm-riddled skies.

To look down upon that which I’d always looked up to played tricks on my tired mind. I felt I might reach across the distance between us, touch your shoulder, stroke your hair, feel the curves of your wetted body pressed to my own. You were perfect, you see, an air breathing angel huddled against the squall. And for one sick moment, I thought to tip you into my domain, dislodge you from your little, brown boat; what a monster the ocean had made of me. Of course, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

And there, as I spied upon she who’d spied down on me, I forgot where I belonged, forgot what I was, forgot time and its consequences. I lingered in gasping breaths until I gasped no more. It was worth the pain to see you whole and to imagine what our life might have been.

When I lost my lungs, night descended. When I lost my grip, I fell. You may have heard the splash, but you’d never have known it me.