We’ve been doin’ this shit longer than you been suckin’ air…

Bodie, The Wire

• your left thumb, in the purple shadowland before birth • the first razor-wire breath of February air • at 3.27 a.m., a cracked nipple and mute disappointment • a sky-blue dummy • a Farley’s rusk • action man’s left arm, the collateral damage of the playroom • Barbie’s hair, matted with raspberry jam • a woodlouse, in the spirit of scientific experiment • a grape and a cherry, held like a wide smile in each cheek, sitting squattly in the garden • thumb again, the cosmic loneliness of the playground’s north-eastern corner • the lick-up spoon of Emmy’s first birthday cake, a proper chef • the flannel at bathtime, tasting wetly of a late June day • 17 marshmallows and a ripple of giggles • the back of your hand, under the duvet’s magic carpet, training for a hopeful tomorrow • the burning rim of a Tesco Value vodka bottle, laying between the fizzing thrill of rhododendron blooms in Albert Park in the dank dark of August • her finger, brim-full of excitement and absurdity • the brussel sprout rush of a blue Ventolin puffer • a badly rolled rizzla of Golden Virginia and cheap black hash • a fisherman’s friend that tastes like fear, in the waiting room • a swelled bottom lip, wheeling a bicycle, its front wheel disconsolately bent • the sickly blue smoke of a red Lucky Strike, the last last fag, in time for your forties • an unexpected name, secretly under your tongue all day long • a gin-scented ice-cube from her abandoned glass, clearing the table to the soundtrack of Sailing By • a pen lid • a matchstick • a tooth • a tube • a coin • the slow yield of earth


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