Days in bed. Three, four, six, seven. Can’t remember. The air is warm like a fart. It tastes of breasts and butter. Damp bedsheets and empty bottles of beer. Books, biscuits, and slices of stale bread used to line a poorly stomach prone to the aches and pains of being a user of the bottle. It’s a new year, but there are no celebrations. Forty gunned down in a Turkish bar- that’s what met me as I checked my phone during a break on my night shift. Was going to send a few messages to those nearest and dearest to my heart, but what’s there to celebrate other than the same old mess of what it is to be human? Yeah, we can be full of wonder, but what a virus we are, killing and reducing if it were a contest to be cruellest. But what is there to do other than continue? Anything less would be an insult to the dead. While observing the lack of empathy in those around me, I consider the lack of feeling in myself, but within my heart, I’d like to think there’s a bluebird that sings and flies when no one else is looking. Look at Bukowski- the guy was an arsehole, and yet he had this beauty in him that sings even now some twenty years after his death. I’d like to think I could be tender- could rise above the stench that has a habit of clinging despite my best intentions to do otherwise. Headaches, tourniquets and those brown locks of hair that tickle my nose while I sleep. If I peel back those lids of hers and take a photograph of her eyes, will I catch a glimpse of the man I used to be? Will I smile just how I used to before words came and got the better of me? And these words, how they smear themselves all over my face like the lips of a lover. A Damned Lover- so brilliant and nasty and degrading in the same touch. I don’t want another- I just want you- you who knows the pain that bubbles, inflicts, and subdues. Days in bed. One, two, three. Meet me beneath a spreading chestnut tree.