singing

Child King

The person at your heart is a child king
head held high, flying, singing
nonsense words to the tune of your memories

you are a person, you have a story
he sings over the rain and wind
(he's running, it's stormy, he loves it)

you are a person, you exist
in a desire-fulfilling world
a world where storms have a meaning

and that meaning, somehow,
through some kind of universal design,
has something to do with you.

The child king sings because he is not you
he is not anyone, in fact
he doesn't even know that he exists

he will never have babies or a job
his language is a song of fragments
his bare feet indifferent to grass or broken glass

every time you try to focus on his face
it has changed, he has gone, replaced
by a blue wind, a sheen of sun on oil,

strange things of that kind, themselves
gone in an instant.
His song disappears too -

there is nothing but a whispered word
that brings you into a forgotten room
memory upon memory, wasted afternoons

shuddering in a silence without him.
He is your heart and he is running away.
You hate him and you wish he would stay.

Choirboy

I was a choirboy where the light
crept through windows stained sacred
in a cold chapel, and I sang from my throat
raw from crying over homework, forgotten toys,
a memory of death floating back through time,
I sang from my blood and no other world
had ever been so holy.

It was so cold out there on the school steps -
I pulled up my hood and sank deep into myself
travelling through my tissues, I dreamed
forwards and backwards in time,
and it could have been half an hour or three hours
or three years
as a rock in the shape of a boy
before a priest came to rescue me,
his cold blue eyes confused when he recognized me -
he'd always thought I was cocky, aristocratic,
not a helpless thing too stupid to call his father,
wandering in imaginary worlds that might never be,
how I sang in my veins to be free.

Every leaf and breath and star and voice was perfect,
lost in time like me, and I sang for the sun
into dusk, the sun tearing wounds in the sky, savage
and desperate to send me to bed. My mother's voice.
Bed the universe, body the living god, pulsing in darkness.

I am not human, have never been human,
something singing and laughing in the skin
and the blood and the bone and the dream.