• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 11
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The House Where Love Boy Lives

Boy grows inside,
stares and smiles into space,
does not appear to think of Mum
at all. He is joyless and pale as salt.

Sometimes, Boy peeks through
the gaps of his bedroom blinds.

Boy sleeps like a cold stone,
mouldering without desires.
He wakes at noon and rages;
Uncle’s birthday comes each year.
Strange, how he stays thirteen.

Boy glides through the hall,
disturbs a hoard of hospital dates and licks
the oiled walls with his hands,
nothing left untouched
in this House of things preserved and kept.

Sometimes, Boy speaks. He says he can see
lungs, necks and eyes in the House.
Mum nods, agrees.

In the back room, Boy crouches with
blunt scissors cutting
perfect chains of paper angels.
He wears them like a necklace.
They are to treasure forever, never to be lost.


The House Where Love Boy Lives

Boy winds his clock collection and
tucks his dolls into their respective beds,
before extinguishing a graveyard
of candles with one quick

Upstairs, one warm July day
in the en-suite bathroom, Boy looks hard
above the sink at a square of old wallpaper
where the mirror once was, and tries
to work out what he should do next.

Sometimes, Boy appears in Mum’s bedroom
half-naked and gleaming like a blade.
Her voice is a flame in the black of this
House where light no longer lives.

Mum observes the bruises turn blue,
blood turning crisp on her thighs
in this House of aching silences.