boxing day

I sit in your car at a quarter to three
and listen to your words.
They cling to my ears like frost on the lawn
and I soak them up with the sun.
Each letter I take & bottle up,
sew it into the seams of my stitched-up heart:
a collection they cannot take or break
for I store it deep inside.
I ring up a friend somewhere in Ohio
as I wander the streets of a post-Christmas town.
You’ll never believe what he’s telling me
and she doesn’t, but somehow she knows that it’s true.
I can’t shake off this feeling inside:
this itching and crawling at the tip of my spine.
I can’t forget the look on your face
each time one of us has to go.
The light in your eyes darkens and dims
as a name saddles the curve of your lip.
It tastes of poison and stinks of dirt
piled up six-foot-high in the earth.
I listen and think far back in my mind
I have to be with you the rest of my life;
There’s something you’ve got I’ve been trying to find…

I purse my lips and swallow my tongue.
Don’t say it now, don’t fess up:
as long as I stay with you in this car,
nothing need go further than where we are.

26 December 2006

© Charlie Pevensie


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