They've strung up your face
on canvas carved in glass
across the city's overpass.
Your eyes are bulging mole-hills.
Your hair is sprouting grass.

In the backdrop of a cheap shop's
parking lot, a broken sign
curls around your head like a halo;
when winter comes you will sparkle with snow.
Each fractured letter blinks
like indecisive traffic lights,
like broken teeth in a smoker's skull.

Beneath us, the underpass is full.
They've scattered your paper faces
all over the floor, so I sprint up and down,
stomping the ground,
just to hurt you a little bit more.
Your dirty skin is sun dust.
Your wounded eyes, warning bullet holes.

In the spotlight of the city's rays
at midnight, the wind consoles me
with wary arms. I won't make it home tonight.
I am a celebrity in my own right,
and you have denied me this longed-for life.

They've got every part of you
only I once knew;
your footprints are their signature,
they welcome you with overture.
Somewhere in the world
during some innocent slip in time
where we forgot to turn the clock,
you ceased to be mine.

Now they've strung you up
like a WANTED sign,
and your eyes penetrate my windows.
I can't sleep for the deafening din
of your rough hands across my skin,
the cry of a speeding truck coming
like your sudden, throaty breath.

Every broken, burnt car
is a fallen, rusty star,
every flickering streetlight
is a wish come true.
Your lips are silver instruments,
your tongue relays the tune.
And I remember even in this cold
how warm it was, loving you.

I'm amused, here, a guilty shadow of the street,
to feel so pointless with the world at my feet.

Shaunna Harper's picture

Shaunna Harper lives and works in the UK, and is an avid writer of both prose and poetry. She has had poetry, short stories and a novel, Homelands, published.

Last updated August 09, 2014