Three Poems from Stephen J. Golds

Mr Golds

Walls

 

Then,

 

the  walls, the floors, the ceilings

within the house were

the whitest,

the hollowest, the

most shame inducing

naked,

I’d ever seen them.

 

Our daughters were comfortable

at their Grandmother’s house and

the rooms within the place were

the quietest, the

most gut puncturing

silent,

I’d ever heard them.

 

Sitting on a dining chair, that was

without a dining table then, I was five kilos lighter.

Staring at so many brown cardboard boxes and

I smoked, twisting the band of platinum

that remained

upon my flesh but had departed from yours

so many bitter raptures ago.

 

You told me to go outside,

the tobacco stunk, you moaned but

I just waved my hand at

the vapid emptiness

of what had been our family home

like what did anything like that

really matter now.

 

And then,

 

hours later, after everything. I had unpacked, and

I sat alone within the wailing walls of single occupancy,

missing my children with such

a terminal and utter and complete

feeling of drowning vacancy that

I wondered how long I could survive until final stage suicide

took a choking embrace of my vital organs and squeezed me breathless.

 

And now,

 

now I sit on a balcony with plants and colors of flowers,

our daughters plant seeds in small pots of soil and giggle together.

Dirt kissing their fingertips and

sunshine caressing their long hair.

I wipe away a tear quickly as I watch them

and swallow a bittersweet happiness

before they can catch it with their glittering eyes.

 

Now I’m just living

for the time I can be with them

like this and they’re free from

our constant, stagnant, gangrenous warring as though

we were the children in the family all along

and we’ve finally grown up now and

left home.

 

For a Woman I Wish I Never Met

 

My grandfather,

he warned me,

never to trust

a woman who

drank alone

in a bar.

 

It was a woman

drinking alone

in a bar who

drank my drinks and

a little later told me

all about Mistletoe.

 

She taught me a lot of things.

How to really drink and how to really fuck, how to really go crazy

and she taught me that

Mistletoe is a beautiful plant

with flowers

as white as virgin snow.

 

And, Mistletoe

is a parasitic plant,

it attaches itself

to a host tree

sucks it dry

of water and nutrients,

 

until the host tree is

just a dead husk,

engulfed by

a hollow kind of death

and

a hollow kind of beauty.

 

I should have

listened to

my grandfather

and I should have

listened

to her.

 

Thoughts Before and After a Divorce

 

Someone said

it’s the small

moments that change your life.

 

For better, for worse.

 

I don’t know

who said that

but I think

it’s probably the truth.

 

In sickness and in health.

 

The small moments.

 

An unset alarm clock.

A missed train.

A broken shoelace.

A bar in

an old part of town.

 

A new woman,

with a new laugh,

a new body

and an

old soul.

 

Till death us do part.

 

Stephen J. Golds was born in the U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. Glamour Girl Gone, his debut novel, will be released by Close to The Bone Press  on January 29th, 2021.