Was there ever a time when I was more Than a number? More than just a pair Of hands to beg, steal, snatch… Knives and batteries, or pots of pills. My name is merely a memory amongst The many I have of home, nostalgia A constant ache in the bones of me. Stowed within the bowels of the boat That carried me here as a child, I kept my mouth shut and my ears open, Straining for the words that would reveal My new life. The whispered words that Still seep through the box-like walls Of this dingy room. And now here I sit, Waiting, anticipating, palpitating, Expecting the call of my number. Was there ever a time when I was more Than a number?
These days you find it hard to believe anything really stops. A voice of god proclaims we’re open for interpretation all day, every day, and the streets are lined with broadsides advertising the next dimension. It’s a world where Autumn comes down without language, without anything to say. Spring is already peeling open the sunny boulevards.
Your lover knocks the night in and starts pairing his socks with yours. Frenzied in love, foaming at the mouth. You find you’re already fighting for clarity, planting your childhood traumas into his ear as he sleeps. Believing he might near knowing you, but only near knowing. You mouth a warning: everything is subjective. And he hates you for it, says he cannot understand you, well isn’t that what you said?
But maybe you’re the one who’s being buried. He walks out of pace, a little ahead, and all he’ll offer is a reddened sycamore leaf from behind his ear, that curls in your palm, and the words this is all and you still won’t believe it.
Foyle Young Poets of the Year