The lonely desert keeps me warm at night.
It feeds me bats to fuel my legs.
And each and every day I walk to shed my itching skin.
The dunes sing songs to the pad of my feet,
Scorched and hardened clay.
My organs shrink and my eyes turn milky blue,
Twin nebulae beset by solar rapture.
I am the scorpion, the snake, the camel and the beetle.
I am everything I see.
Thoughts like frontiers sink quickly into the sand.
Memories of a lucid dream, evaporate on the salt flats.
I am the hermit crab, the haze is my shell.
The lonely desert keeps me cool in the day.
It wicks the sweat from my brow.
And each and every night I sleep to awake and walk again.
A Drab Interment
I fear for those most doomed of souls,
Who do not pain for knowledge.
Those who lack a thirst for words and maps and charts and music.
I’m sure that on this transient coil, to which they cling so thoughtlessly; their chrome and bricks will bring them joy, albeit rather fleeting.
What flat and lifeless hell awaits, these hollow moulds of men? The devil deals in embers bright; he has no time for matches spent. Nor has He a cloud to spare, for lungs that toil in unenlightened air.
Then must noble worms and velvet moles bemoan their drab interment. Lifeless neighbours they’ll remain, when they’re six feet underground.
Atop the flaked and barren soil, how best to sum them up? A polished slab of gleaming rock, a faded plastic forget-me-not.
Through gritty, parched eyes I squint,
As hazy boulevards wind ceaselessly ahead.
The soupy June air weighs heavy on my shoulders,
A cruel curse befitting of a cruel hour.
I snarl and thrash and seethe.
I pray for a swift end.
Highgate lovers, swathed in crumpled bedsheets,
Gaze down from windows in dreamy post-coital bliss.
The soft light emanating from their cigarettes reminds me where I should be,
Where I should have stayed.
Her cascading onyx locks and melting stare, so far from here.
Snatched away in a frenetic dusk.
In the murky, nocturnal depths of this Hadean Borough,
The thought of fusing my weary torso to the elegant curve in her back is my only escape.
To sweetly kiss the nape of her neck,
And watch that sensual smile paint joyously across her sculpturesque face.
For a brief, heavenly moment, I’m there.
But mine is the oppressive still of a North London night,
Where bountiful summer trees loom black and menacing over deserted pavements.
Lo, wrapped in my internal struggle I have omitted another.
One who neither pines, nor laments, nor regrets.
A weightless astronaut, he skulks through the night air with a humble grace.
His sinewy frame. That restless, twitching muzzle,
An opportunist cat burglar, thriving in his concrete woodland.
He slows as I approach. A cautious arc. His marble eyes reflecting the street lights above.
What does he see?
We halt in unison, we share the stillness.
His keen nose analyses my scent, his pointed ears flinch at my slightest movement.
Such devotion to the senses is something I’ve long forgotten.
Suddenly I feel my heavy feet beneath me, notice my short, agitated breaths.
This wild animal has coaxed me out of my own head, made me living again.
He watches intently as I find the strength to move forward. Down this path I myself chose.
And as I glance back, I ponder his sentience. Did he share in my epiphany?
Succumbing to sleep I envy the fox. Long to dream his savage, unquestioning existence.
Christie-Luke Jones is a poet, fiction writer and actor from Oxfordshire, England. His writing is strongly influenced by the Gallic blood that courses through his veins, as well as his interest in the more macabre aspects of the human condition. To see more of his work, visit www.christielukejones.com