‘Ribbons’ by Jasmine Liron

Technicolour tears streak dot-to-dots through young freckles;
welting the faces of little shepherds; warming angry staircases.
Drink-stained cackles resonate. My keepers are fading statues.
Tiny hands blocking daisy-chain ears. Tiny hands make smudges;
mottling memories into times of August sand and cut-off crusts.
Nursery rhymes ring white-cold with promises and platitudes
and remote control rivalry swerves blindly into solo corners.
Creaking. Size-eight steps play shady chords. One stair at a time. Closing.

Weʼre all children / in the dark

Familiar hands burn red ribbons through nicotine-stained bruises;
and hot tears scald the Cosmos with a wasteland of blinking stars.
Little shoulders flinch into folds of carpet and peeling wallpaper,
as lunatic shadows strike hollow blows across milk-white bones.
Sheltering inside clumsy circles of broken chalk and wax crayons,
as window-frame clouds throttle infant sorrows into silent oblivion.
The smaller hours sink into larger measures of half-glass venom,
and the dart-board words make their sneering goodnight kiss.

Weʼre all children / in the dark

The curtains crack with tentacles of half light, that flicker and fix
upon sorrow-soaked eyelids: the grotesque shapes of morning.
Flies circle like paper aeroplanes and slowing grandfather clocks
sigh a mourning lament, ʻYouʼll never be more than thisʼ. This.
Blowing bubbles through broken records and joyless ʻnext timesʼ,
as hollow heartbeats weep like a row of broken stopwatches.
A carousel of fractious tell-tale prophecy spirals a sad staccato
around the tattered flag of brutalised youth. Never moving.

Weʼre all children / in the dark


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