do not blame me for loving the 2003 film love, actually
because it should snow
all the dogs should wear stupid shoes
noses are beautiful
at christmas when you are in love
even when you are a grown man
a body double in a porn film
airports are beautiful
if you don’t cry –
the beach boys at heathrow
and people in love immediately again
– you are not worthy to criticise
even the planes hold hands
between their gates
though this does not happen and the flowers
wilt from changing arms I know I am wrong
colin firth and bill nighy and emma thompson
should make better art
snow does not look like that
body doubles probably do not fall in love
you cannot blame me it is maths
to like the 2003 film love,
an idiot in a cold street
unfairly criticised pie
a lobster in a nativity
every possible demonstration of easy emotion
nipples censored by christmas hats
we like bad films just like sometimes
we choose bad poems
to read at christenings
and the funerals of loyal pets
and later we are embarrassed
they belong in cross-stitch
in hospital waiting rooms
instead pin them to our child hearts
that love whatever they feel
sometimes the things that hurt shouldn’t hurt too much
love like snow shouldn’t care
if you can’t speak its language
should fall you into it anyway
all the friendship bracelet makers have retreated
and now I’m not sure if I’m missing home
because I’m missing her or her
or just the sea. the sea is warming up
and I am jealous of all the toes it will kiss
before it kisses mine.
there is no ocean here. don’t argue
that the river is in some way an ocean.
find a way to velcro us across the continents:
your arms hooking my winterburnt elbows.
I want to be far away but I want to be home.
breath by breath I want these things.
let me show you how little I want to know:
make a fist and let no air in.
I want to make the world as tight around me
as I make my single duvet in winter.
all the friendship bracelet makers have retreated.
they have gone home for the summer
to walk their dogs and recognise their parents
and I know I should stop sending photographs
of the same places but it is all I can do
to prove I am succeeding. watch me walk
chinup through waterloo station
watch me rub mascara from my cheeks
wade through pigeons interrupt cyclists
listen to brahms on my crumbed carpet
and not even think of you.
in this poem I am tackling you and
all the tender things you do for me.
it begins like this: you watch top of the pops at my birth.
as this unflinching cross-section progresses
I will rediscover you learning to comb
and tie my hair like fathers don’t, catching my ears
I will pin you open like a butterfly and
ungloved unfurl the minutes of you walking
zigzag up the driveway, plucking honeysuckle
everyone gasps someway when the music blooms
the mince and cheese pie cut open
so I do not burn my lips,
steam on your forehead, folded.
an illumination/a genre recreated/you will laugh and cry
until the day that changes everything.
a denouement of your woollen jumpers
in their profoundly affecting pile
in the sun on the bedroom floor.