You don’t hear a song for 20 odd years and then twice in a week. It’s a good job because this one really stings and makes me hold my breath for too long. It’s a great song, too: Talk Talk’s ‘I Believe in You’ from ‘Spirit of Eden’ 1988. One of my favourites, once.
Death happens. People come and go.
This one’s about Daniel. Clever, tormented, angry, witty, bewitching Daniel.
It’s nameless, as yet (but I bet Juliet can think of something?)
Wrapped up neatly, safely in a box
in nice paper.
Small and hidden away
and not for thinking.
But some things rip off the sellotape
and I can’t contain the heat of it.
It enters my chest, compresses lung against lung
and brings a silent scream
that feels like my scalp is gone.
Standing at the sink gutting fish for supper
hands bloodied and foiled with sequin scales.
Then speeding pictures
like eye-reflections flickering in the window of a fast train.
Yellow haired, smooth skinned boy.
The boy who took my hand in the cool zinc light of an August dawn
in a garden.
The boy who hangs in my head
in a breeze block student cell
feet scrabbling for safety,
fingers grabbing nothing,
Somewhere in North London.
I can’t see.
Wrap up the bones, the guts,
(Tom Waits’s ‘Grapefruit Moon’ is a good salve….)