Stephen Daniels – two poems

The first person I ever hated…

was nine and had serrated breath
her vice like wit held me captured

O! The tearing of personality
she inflicted with each prod

left me chasing her charm
around the playground like a dog

there were times when she
would sew my social status

into the skins of my enemies
continually provoking a chase

I caught her one day
and my hands felt her shoulders

after years of pursuit
my position was now fixed

in retaliation for all the ridicule
and embarrassment she now dismissed

we scowled at each other
then shared our first kiss


You lay on the floor, waiting for me

When I accused you of being dead,
I thought you’d smile.
I thought you’d look up and mock me.

When I accused you of being dead,
I looked at the coffee table,
I threw the coasters at you and waited for a twitch.

When I accused you of being dead,
I touched my arm, the way you sometimes did.
I closed my eyes with your fingers.

When I accused you of being dead,
I pulled at the rug,
I waved its ripples towards you, waiting for you to give up your pretence.

When I accused you of being dead,
I took the deepest breath, inflating silence.
I released the moment slowly.

When I accused you of being dead,
I pointed the remote control at your head.
I pressed the buttons – on, on, on, volume up, brightness up.

When I accused you of being dead,
I shivered, a back of the neck brush.
I let the cold linger on my words.

When I accused you of being dead,
I tickled your toes, your still toes.
I waited for you, you could never resist laughing.

When I accused you of being dead,
I coughed, rasping reason.
I clung to my trembling.


Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry  and the Secretary for Poetry Swindon. His poetry has been published in various magazines and websites, including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems and The Fat Damsel. You can find out more at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com and @stephendaniels

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