sporklet 14

Daniel Fraser


We lay in bed chipping frozen vodka
from a blue tub with a blunt spoon.
Naked from the waist down
you had seven names all of them too rich
to be engaged in this budget
symmetry of bodies,
their clutch of peacock eyes padded
and pampered by exquisite foreign vowels.


I wasn't much of a friend and you were
the kind to try migration, rose-
pale pout and swung hips dark
with bottle tan, kisses that stung
hard, easy as vandalism, faces
a surly graffiti of lips and tongues.


Playing in weeks of midnight cereal,
fried rice and spurned sunlight,
feeling the spark of cancelled plans
and missed calls, shapes fallen
into the same wrong rhythm,
two kinds of bad news competing
to be broken, spending damage
without a backward glance.


Our hearts sucked and drank deep
of things that couldn't last,
brittle fingers frantic for extinction,
tugging the freezer drawers, hunting refills,
clawing at what we hoped were thick
skins, playing games without knowing

any rules or even how to keep the score.

Daniel Fraser is a writer from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. His poetry and prose have featured in: LA Review of Books,  X-R-A-Y, Aeon, Anthropocene Poetry, Review 31 and Dublin Review of Books, among others. His poems and short fiction have both won prizes in the London Magazine. His debut poetry pamphlet will be published by ignitionpress in Autumn 2020. Twitter @oubliette_mag.  Web http://danieljamesfraserwordpress.com/.