Poetry: John D Robinson

John D Robinson

‘Stay down! Stay down!’
they screamed
and it was advice I should
have taken:
I got to my feet and was
knocked back on my ass
with a busted nose: I
stayed down and was
helped to my feet,
someone gave me a
handkerchief to soak
up the blood:
the crowd dispersed,
the show was over,
I went back into the
bar: the guy who had
just beaten me,
nodded at a double
brandy upon the table
he was sat at: I lifted
the glass and drained
in one, speckles of
liquid red trickling
down the insides of
the glass from my nose.


Gentle to the touch,
softness of voice,
she lay draped like a
beat flag across my
lap, I stroked her hair
and trailed my fingers
slowly across her
face like a long-lost
treasure just found,
I spoke silently to
her warmth and
imagined that we
would love eternal
but I knew that
she didn’t want
this, she knew it
wasn’t real but
she let it go and
allowed me to
navigate the way
to loss.


Our entwined silhouettes
give way to darkness,
we cling to each other in
the potential
consequences of the
moments we had shared,
that had made us
the future is always
except for death,
we knew this,
even back then
it was life that
scared us,
not death,
and nothing
has changed.


The daylight breaking,
pushing through the
thin curtains,
I dare not move and
disturb her,
I watch her sleep,
feel her warmth,
her dreamy breath,
life had somehow
cheated the both
of us, all of us,
but that didn’t
matter as I breathed
in her scent of
beauty and sadness,
I lay still,
we’d both been
broken, lost in this
world that runs away
before us as we look
on, waving farewell
before having the
chance to say hello.


Ultimately, it wasn’t the letter
that hurt, what hurt was our
last embrace, our final kiss,
our last love-making, I felt
nothing was missing, that
whatever it was between us,
was still there, like it had
been for some time:
I found your letter two days
later following a binge of
self-destruction with wine,
cocaine and grass and
that embrace,
that kiss,
they were empty for you,
they were a lie,
you can have told me
that you no longer
loved me, that you were
moving on,
but you didn’t,
that’s what hurt,
not a letter that had no
voice, no depth, no
feeling, just words written
down that could be
torn-up and thrown away.

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