Growing Pains

illustration by Forbes Beedie



You want to bind me this time –

It won’t hurt.

I am stuck in a snare, blinded

by the white bleach of your teeth.

You are the devil,

Hurt me and I would kiss you.

My stomach lining twists as thorns,

sunken and sore.

Your mouth a gaping black

descends across pale doves –

growling and moaning.

Here is your tomb, my body.

The Leviathan swallows 

in pleasure.

I, a nothing.


What am I to do against that long dread?

These men pinched and sucking,

Disciples yearning for a risen


October, that unending bleed.

Wine and tears feel thick and heavy

in my room  –

the junkyard of crucifix.

That scream of a wailing pope,

sitting clenched on his 

bathroom cross.

Dozy on overdose.

What a pleasure, that bleeding I see.

Dark as if fresh from the womb –

asphyxiated and raw.

You are dead, no longer necessary,

Dirty like my itching wrists.

I eat what is left,

A damp carcass between the fingers.

Ignore the blood and dead box, honey.

Sweet God, give me this.




I need love like the angels do

on their pearl soaked clouds.

I want that tumour fix,

that bondage.

Masturbator, fresh Christ.

I am orifice, I am empty –

rot if nothing else.

But God refuses.

No, he sits on his bed

and cries, biting fingernails

until they peel off.

Is this how angels are born?

Dead skin

unpeeled like old wallpaper

and then spat onto his floor.

He never liked me much,

so he eats me whole until I cry.



Open, again.

The angels do not scream like they used to.

They become counsellors,

or housewives heavy with spoons

and dope –

Licking and yearning

out of that great cage.

Come back

to that white room.

The carpet smells of death,

God says it is love but I know otherwise.

That rising ash from the therapist’s cigarette,

the smell of earth and sex.

It is finished they say

And the wound reopens, stained.

I laugh. I let go.