Monkey Say


You won’t mind if you don’t know, and you won’t know if I don’t
tell you how
I want legs criss-crossed on sofas and arms aching from sleep,
skin-on-skin, hand-in-hand, face-to-face: love.
But I won’t get that;
not with puppy fat,
scarred skin and crooked teeth.
Not when I talk shit
too much, and not enough
about myself, about you, about the important stuff.
Monkey’s getting anxious.
Monkey, say I’ll be ok?
I’ll choose my words well, well worth it to keep you up there
in the dark, because
I want to set fire to blank pages and half-written books,
write fiction and fact, frank songs and free verse.
But I won’t get there;
not with borrowed prayers,
blue-collar words and cliches.
Not when I fuck it up
and bottle it, lose my nerve,
don’t react, don’t observe.
Monkey’s getting anxous.
Monkey, say I’ll be ok?
You wouldn’t laugh if I told you, would you?
Told you how
I want a life without a mile-a-minute-mind, ups and downs,
tight chests and sleepless nights.
No, you wouldn’t laugh. You’d say that
every time I wake up, every time I talk
It’s another chance to do better.
It’s another chance to do better.
It’s another chance to do better.
Monkey says I’m doing ok.

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