Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Writing To Michael

I wrote a letter beneath the shimmering lights of the season,
not to a holiday icon, hoping for granted wishes,
but to a familiar name,
that has never had a face attached,
but feels like a match,
by blood,
or by spirit,
I could never tell which.

I have written a letter to the man who shares my surname.
We could be related,
or I could be caught up in a coincidence,
but with each word, it seems to matter less and less,
because he was somebody’s son,
the sunlight in someone’s life,
a smiling star that shone too bright,
and I think of him with a fondness that would seem strange to anyone but me,
wondering if we’d be close if I were his niece, or his cousin from another continent.

Christmas is coming,
and I’m wondering what his favourite part of it was.
Was Bay City lit up like a fantasy?
Was he as bad at wrapping gifts as me?
Did he wander the streets, wondering which pavement stones Madonna had walked upon before him? (I absolutely would have done that too) And also wondering why the Queen of Pop never released a full Christmas record? (Again, SAME!)

All I’ve ever known is his name,
and the city he slept in for the last time,
but he has been on my mind for months and years,
because I was lost in the trail of tragedy when he came along,
a familiar name,
some kind of anchor,
to keep me from veering off into a tidal wave of tears that have already been wept,
and I obsess,
desperate to know about the one who shares something of my own.

How could he be gone?
How could they let him go?
What would he think if he knew he could live nowadays?
What would he think if he knew corporate greed let’s people die these days?

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Pride Month 2021, Writing

Survivor’s Guilt

The party is over.

I pass you a glass of cold water,

but you don’t even feel it as it finds it’s way down your throat.

I hold onto it as you drink,

because your hands are shaking.

I know what that faraway stare means.

I know you go somewhere else,

to hide from the times you find yourself in,

so, I just hold you to my chest,

until you find your way back to your body.

We used to be so pretty,

me and my beautiful boys.

Pint after pint at that glorious shithole in Soho,

Judy on the jukebox,

shots of whisky and vodka that smelled like drain cleaner,

before we were home,

a glass of water each,

with our shaking hands and shaking hips.

You’d all kiss me on the cheek,

like I was your mother,

and fall asleep around my feet,

before I jumped and stretched across your snoring corpses, like a ballerina, to get to my bed.

You take a long time to return, this time,

the sleeves of my cardigan are covered in your sorrow, as your tears finally come.

My words don’t come,

and the ceiling is on the floor,

because the ghosts of all the boys I lost have found their way to the door of the nurse’s office,

and you look tempted,

because it’s been so long,

and it’s been so painful,

and I can’t ask you for one more day,

when I already know that you can’t say yes.

They are beckoning, as I hold you back,

selfish but in a selfless kind of sense,

because I know I can’t live without you,

and I know that you want to live,

so what’s the harm, if I hold you back from a journey that I can’t take with you?

I’m on the floor, begging for you,

begging with you,

both of us,

bargaining with God, with flippant men in white coats, with silent pots of medication that just stare, and stare and stare.

Don’t walk through doors that lock as soon as you leave.

Don’t leave me on the other side.

Don’t ask me to survive, when there will be nobody to survive for.

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