Four Poems from Stephen J. Golds

My Parents Worried

At six years old 

chewing bubble gum,

I enjoyed playing 

Russian Roulette

with a cap gun. 

Diet

Stepping naked 

onto the scales 

after a shower

this morning,

the needle 

informed me 

I had lost 5kg. 

It’s as though you were 

a weight of muscle 

wasted and gone.

It is said

the human soul

weighs 21 grams,

I wondered what else 

was ripped away from me  

the day I kicked you out. 

Unbalanced

When I was 8 years old 

I tried to hang myself 

from my cabin bed 

with a belt 

because all of 

my broken toys 

wouldn’t fit 

in the toy box. 

When I was 34,

I tried again 

for the same 

reasons. 

She Always was Quicker

Like the child that discards the toy

then becomes distraught when another child 

picks it up to play with it,

I thought as I dialed, listening 

to the dial tone, wondering if 

I should hang up but didn’t. 

She’d already blocked my number & 

I wished like hell 

I’d just hung up.

Three Poems from Stephen J. Golds

PhotoFunia-1590663152A Broken Record Playing to an Empty Room 

It’s when I’m alone

in my own apartment, my own bed that

think about her most and I’m alone

in my own apartment, my own bed a lot recentlyToo much.

Leaving for work while darkness

still loiters in the sky,

Occasionally, I glance back into the hallway and

catch a glimpse of her there like a shadow passing

across the walls, a ghost in a photograph.

Does the love we might have had 

haunt the empty rooms of her apartment 

as it drags itself around the floorboards of mine 

leaving behind a bitter scent 

that stings the eyes? 

When she cleans the dishes in the kitchen sink

feels the hot water over her hands does the memory of us fucking there ever flash through her mind, a momentary blinding stroke of lightning in the skyline of that deserted city?

The couch too, when she’s sat there watching tv with the newest one, the one that isn’t anything 

like me, does she feel me there too?

Inside her again like a tear in the fabric of the seat,

or a dark stain on the cushions that she can’t scrub out? 

When she places the needle down on an old record, 

let’s the music we shared crowd the air from that 

cheap record player and sways slowly in her bedroom 

does she remember that I was the one

who taught

her

how to

really 

dance

 

Uninhabited

Palsied hands on a door

too white in this

early morning fog.

Empty bottles &

words like shards

of glass.

Wearing the dull

costume of a part never

intended to be played.

Unable to recall

the words said,

though these scars remain.

 

Carry

 

The cemetery inside me.

Too often I visit it to loiter among

the graves, placing my hands

on the too cold stones,

scraping away the moss that’s

grown over the important parts.

Drunkenly I mourn, knowing

things that are dead,

always stay dead.

And maybe

that’s for the best.

Three Overly Sentimental Love Poems for The Recently Departed by Stephen J Golds

Three Overly Sentimental Love Poems for The Recently Departed 

 

Questions Over an Empty Grave

 

The woman who called me on my cellphone

to wish me a happy day before

I pushed myself into the rush hour subway

wasn’t the one

I hoped it would be.

You, I mean. You.

 

The woman who knocked on my door at 1am

with a wicked smile &

a gift of something she thought

I wanted, needed, no,

she wasn’t you either.

 

And that’s the way I’ve been thinking…

I’d like to think

you’re painfully thinking

of me

this painful way I’m thinking

of you.

 

But, I know. I know

you’ve already washed me away with

last night’s date &

this morning’s shampoo.

 

What is this bloody mess

I’m grasping with in my stained hands,

this septic wound coined Love when

I’m the only one left

holding the damned, poisoned thing?

 

You said you’d go with me

into that dark place, but

the dark always scared you and

I let go of your hand

somewhere months back.

I didn’t even realize you were gone.

Were you even really here to begin with?

 

You said I need to change but tell me

where is the success, the victory

in changes made and problems fixed,

when they’re improvements made alone &

birthed from a death like this?

 

What are the true weight of

a lover’s kisses

in the humidity of the

rain drenched night

when they aren’t yours

on my sensitive flesh?

 

What is the meaning of sex if

I’m no longer moving inside you?

It’s something boiled down to

a self congratulatory act

of malice that leaves me

spinning records with ghosts

isn’t it?

 

And finally,

finally, what good is being happy

if it’s being happy

without you now that

you’re another dull ache that

I carry around in my guts?

 

All The Unanswered Things

 

Love is subway stations

out of the town you grew up in

and love is the dials on the washing machine in the laundromat

when you’ve used the last of your change on the coke machine.

 

Love is the rabid spotted dog

that refuses to sit

and love is the black alley cat

after you’ve trodden in its shit.

 

Love is the silver pocket watch

from the flea market in London that stopped at 12:06

and love is the paper airplane

in the classroom waste paper basket.

 

Love is the moisture on your face

when you’re without tissues

and love is trying to smile at yourself in the

mirror on a Monday morning before work.

 

Love is the movie bank heist gone wrong

with a crew full of psychopaths and bad acting

and love is the overweight librarian

without her reading glasses.

 

Love is going to sleep

not dreading tomorrow

and love is something that

I am thinking about now

that it’s apparently too late.

 

 

For C.

 

It’s hard for me to sleep knowing

you’re in someone else’s bed tonight,

 

being all too painfully aware we share

the same night, the same darkness

 

but that’s

all now.

 

4 Micro-aggressions By Stephen J. Golds

image0

4 Micro-aggressions

 

7/11

My love something

like the fly

against the storefront

glass until death.

You are gone.

 

Sadie

You didn’t count to 10,

I thought that was unfair.

When you gunned me down,

I lay there shocked and awed.

I didn’t know

We were playing for keeps, Sadie.

 

Fate

The dead fish

staring forlornly at

the bottom of the aquarium in my

newly divorced,

roach motel room

with the meaningless

hate killing love

on the television.

I stare back at

the dead fish

unsure of why my life is

trying to fucking murder me.

 

Forecast For Tomorrow

 

Those painful cockroach

thoughts that crawl their

way through musty cracks.

 

The apartment stinks of

yesterday’s laundry &

yesterday’s love.

 

I walk these streetlamp streets,

try to will the winter back to me

but it’s the rainy season and

everywhere is

wet shit & just

no good

at all.

 

Like Those Old Western Movies by Stephen J. Golds

PhotoFunia-1590663152

Like Those Old Western Movies

 

Darkness…

*

Pain…

*

Raptures…

*

He wrenched the cleaning woman to her feet and shoved her out in front of him. A shield. He screamed at her to get the fucking door. Get the door! GET THE FUCKING DOOR!

The pulsing lights were blinding.

Cops barked and shouted.

Tremors shook his body and he didn’t know if it was the woman or him that was trembling. Voltage passing through them both like a train. Her long brown hair had come lose and was trickling over his hand and the pistol. She crossed herself erratic as he ripped her head back and stabbed the muzzle into the soft flesh of her jaw.

Him and the maid together, like those old western movies. Butch Cassidy and The Sun Dance Kid.

*

Shards of glass, splinters of wood and plaster dust exploded around the room. Red and blue colors flashed and danced on the early morning walls.

He gripped the maid around the throat, held her down with one sweat-drenched hand and clasped at the pistol with the other.

The gunfire tapered off.

He peeked out of the shattered window at the bodies on the ground. He was a cop killer now. More black and whites sped into the motel’s parking lot.

A voice mumbled over a megaphone.

Dust clouds whirled and twisted.

The maid whimpered and fumbled at a black beaded rosary. He tried to remember how many rounds he had left. Not enough.

*

The bitch wouldn’t shut up.

He’d had to shut her up.

He waited until he hit a quiet stretch, swerved, pulled her piece of shit Honda over to the side of the highway and shoved her out into a ditch.

He found a cloth in the glove box and used it to soak up some of the puddles of blood and then tossed that out too.

Pushed the pistol back under the driver’s seat.

He reached over into the back, grabbed the holdall and pulled it upfront. Dropped it in the passenger’s seat. Its weight made him grin.

Almost nightfall.

Almost at the border and not a cop car in sight.

He needed to stop. He drove past a motel. Dumped the Honda and walked back an hour to the motel and checked himself into a room on the end.

*

Three black and whites swung into the jewellery store parking lot, sirens screaming as they burst out the front doors.

Vincent and Tony started blasting. Stupid fucks thought they were in a spaghetti western. The cops weren’t fucking around either. He’d watched Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. He knew how that old western had ended.

He saw Vincent jump around, collapse in his peripheral, kick out. He didn’t wait around for Tony. To hell with him. Let Tony play at Cops and Robbers. He snatched a bag and got the fuck out of there.

Around the motel, down a back alley, over a chain link fence, through some kind of a forecourt, over another chain link fence, up an embankment and out onto the freeway.

Panting like a rabid mutt.

Running.

The handles of the holdall ripping into the flesh of his palm.

Horns blared.

A baby blue Honda braked, screeching hard when he put a couple of rounds through the windshield.

The women in the driver’s seat screeched hard too as he stabbed the muzzle of the pistol into the flesh of her neck and forced her into the passenger’s seat.  The bitch screamed.

*

Jerk-off Joe behind the counter pushed the button.

Tony pushed the button on Jerk-off Joe.

Customers screamed.

He swung the sledgehammer, smashed at display cases and stuffed the holdall with everything that glittered and glistened.

Vincent pistol whipped a kid making a move for the door. The kid screamed like a little girl.

He looked at his wristwatch and pulled at the sweat soaked stocking covering his features. He could hear sirens wailing in the distance and shouted to Vincent and Tony to move, fucking move! MOVE!

On Being Fourteen Years Old and Loving Miss Perkins by Stephen J. Golds

On Being Fourteen Years Old and Loving Miss Perkins

 

Miss Perkins had been teaching at my high school for nearly a year and I was in love with her. It was a fourteen-year-old boy’s love for a personification of a wet dream twice his age, and I carried that love around in my chest like a loaded revolver.

 

Miss Perkins was a teacher at my school, but she wasn’t my teacher. If I had her as an educator, I might’ve learnt something (and not crashed out so spectacularly). I only snatched glimpses of her strolling to and from the faculty lounge, the sounds of her high-heels on the cracked concrete tearing into my adolescent hormonal heart like a power drill. Miss Perkins waltzing across the title screen of my ‘The Wonder Years’ to the soundtrack of ‘The La’s – There She Goes.’

There was a rumor floating around the school like a bad fart that she was fucking the geography teacher. I liked to think that the rumor wasn’t true. Kids made up a little song about it; “Perkins sucks Berkins.

Berkins licks Perkins.

Perkins fucks Berkins.

Oh yeah, baby, baby!.

Sometimes, spurned by the madness of the crowd, I would join in unenthusiastically with the chant, mouthing and mumbling the words like an atheist singing hymns at a distant relative’s funeral that they’d been obligated to attend.

I didn’t really like the geography teacher whose name was, as the song creatively suggested, Mr. Berkins. I think it would be more honest to say I hated him. He was skinny with brown moles all over his pink skin, his grey eyes bulged out of his head like two half-buried golf balls and he spat when he shouted at you for forgetting your homework or for being late. Long thick black hairs tangled out from his nostrils and when he breathed the hairs slithered and twisted like snakes in dry, black holes. Sweat was always seeping out of the large pores on his forehead.

Whenever I saw him with Miss Perkins, he would always be trying to make her laugh or trying to touch her arm or shoulder subtlety, the sly little prick. Always pretending that he was something special and not just some ghost of a robot. I knew his game. I was on to him. He wasn’t fooling me.

 

Miss Perkins looked like one of the women from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue that I kept stuffed underneath my mattress. Blonde, busty, beautiful, young, and probably intelligent too. Nothing seemed to touch her because she was above it all. Berkins on the other hand seemed old and crustified like a piece of dinosaur shit in the sun, even though I’m sure he was pretty young himself.

I remember one afternoon he sent me out of his class for swearing at this fat girl called Shelly. She said I pretended to drop my pencil on the floor, so I could snatch a peek up her skirt, when she had in fact swung open her fat white thighs like the jaws of a shark to show me her whirlpool-like snatch.

After the lesson had ended Mr Berkins called me back into the classroom as everyone was leaving and cross examined me with the eyes that looked as though they were trying to leap out of his face. He kept looking at me as the sweat slid down his shiny forehead and cheeks. Finally, he took out a white handkerchief from his V-neck sweater’s sleeve and mopped at his brow. I couldn’t believe he kept a handkerchief stuffed up his sleeve, to me it was surreal and ludicrous and justified all the hate I felt for him. He finished drying his face off, smiled a slick grin and asked me whether I would like it if he looked up my mother’s skirt. I couldn’t believe it. What kind of a question was that to ask a kid? I knew he was trying to beat me, defeat me. I didn’t know what he was trying to defeat me at, but I was sure I wouldn’t let him win. I licked my lips coolly and said in as manly a voice as I could force out of my shallow chest, without it breaking, that if my dad caught him looking at my mom’s pussy, he would kick the shit out of him.

As soon as the words snaked their way from my mouth and birthed themselves into the awkward silence, his eyes jumped from his head, all white and like lemmings at a cliff edge. He scratched at the bald patch in the center of his head and kept saying the word “quite, quite, quite, quite”, as he scratched, nodded, and stared.

Finally, he pointed a thumb towards the classroom door, telling me to get out and we both knew I had won something ridiculously small and worthless. I attempted some kind of a strut out of the classroom, almost feeling like the character McMurphy from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and refusing to acknowledge the possibility that a woman like Miss Perkins could be interested in such a man as Mr Berkins. A loser pretending to be some sort of a hot-shot. A man outwitted by an always outnumbered and outgunned fourteen-year-old boy with dirty socks and holes in the soles of his shoes.

 

In her second year of teaching Miss Perkins handed in her resignation and disappeared from the high school and my life.

A very short while after Mr Berkins quit as well and for the first time I could almost empathize with him. Understand where he was coming from.

A little piece of the sunshine had been stolen from the school and it was now a lot darker and less fluid and more mechanical within the hallways and the classrooms. I supposed even though we were completely different human beings we’d both discovered a red rose growing out of a pile of horse shit and we both knew that with the flower gone, there was only the pile of shit left behind.

 

Much, much later, I found out that they had gotten married.

 

Mr. Berkins had won after all.

 

 

 

London Bridge Railway Station, Please Mate by Stephen J. Golds

London Bridge Railway Station, Please Mate.

 

I’ll tell ya summin the wevas fuckin shit today, innit mate? Still good ole English weva though.

Ya wotchat show with wos ees face on the tube las night? Whata proppa pila shit that wos. The morra watch that flickerin pissa shit called telavision, the morra feel like climbin a clock towa or summin an snipin people.

Na kiddin, mate.

I’m not fucked in the ed or anythin like that, I’m jus sick an tired of bein forced fed all this crap that is on nowahdays. Yanno wottamin? I don even pay fer ma telavision license. Issnot worth it. Issa fuckin ripoff, that’s wotit is. In the past, telavision ust’a be good, ya were actually entatained, ya actually learnt summin. Y’ad that Attenborough geezer crawlin through undagrowth, watchin lions an shit. Y’ad that Krypton Factor, Master Mind, even that Crystal Maze was arf good. The shows that were menta be funny, actually were funny, ya didn’t get nunna this canned laughta bollox that ya do taday. I fuckin ate canned laughta. Tell ya summin, I would prefer ta piss fuckin razar blades then sit throuwa show with canned laughta. Yanno Wottamin?

Seriously.

An reality telavision, that can jus fuck orf. Fuck right orf. Few yearsago when the first coupla reality shows came out, it was arf good, it was new, entatainin. Lookatit na. I’ma as bin celebrity put me outta my shittin misary. Big Brotha? More like Big puddla piss. Yanno wottamin?

I can piccha the produsas of these telavision shows satin their big meetins na,

They rather liked the first ten series, they’re going to like the next ten. Who cares if it’s getting old, the public are too stupid to notice.

an

One has a rather brilliant new idea for a show, ten contestants in a house with cameras watching their every move, it sounds like all the other programs on television but it’s not. The difference is, they are all going to be ex-child stars and we shall give them loads of contraceptives and alcohol so they have loads of sex and then our ratings shall go up”.

 

Torkin jus like that. All toff like.

The only telavision they make nowah days is aimed attha perverts, the bloody nonces, the joeys, an the tossers . Innit mate. yanno wottamin?

An don’t get me started on nonces, the bloody lotta em should av their balls cut orf an fed ta em. There wossis one nonce livin near ma gaff got an axe in the ed, there was claret everywhere. An axe right inntha kissa. Geezer ooh done that deserves’a Victoria Cross, medal of honour or summin, yanno wottamin?

The thin that pisses me orf the most about watchin the old lizer, is the poxy daytime shows an the other thin is ma girlfriend gets brainwashed by all that shit. She actually sits there an bloody watches it. Y’ave Trisha, This Mornin, Loose Woman an that fuckin Jessica  wosser face, the big nosed cow. It does ma bloody ed in. She can’t keep er chevy shut either when she does watchit, the missis, she keeps onanon bout it.

“Doncha talk ta me lika pissa shit, I won’t stand farit, I deserve betta, I seenit on Trisha.”

All uppidy, like that.

She seenit on the Trisha Show, that’s what she says, innit. Every time. I tell er ta get offa er arse an clean the ouse or summin. Yanno wottamin?

Woman does ma bloody ed in, all she cares about is er air an bloody diets an that. Diet. Diet. Ya can’t even turn on the tube without earin the damn word. Everybody’s too ealth conscious nowwa days, I tell ya. Wotever appened ta drink, eat an be merry. I don’t wanna turn on the tube ta ear sum old geezer yappin onnat me that smokin’s bad fer ya, drinkin’s bad fer ya, even eatin a fry ups bad fer ya. Jus fuck orf, fuck right orf. Stop tryin ta brain wash me, ya cunts.

Ya see the thin is, the people tryin to force us ta live like em, don’t work in a job like mine, six daysa bloody week, do they? When I finish my shift, the first thin on ma mind is ta go down the local, av a few jars an get rat’ed, wind down. Yanno wottamin?

I see these sorta people, uppa class ponces, like I see on the tube, waltz inta the pub like they own the bloody place. Wearin their suits an their fancy watches, playin golf on the weekends, cushty nine ta five jobs an all that malarki. We’ll sit an watch em, then when they’ve finished orf their gin an tonic or

woteva, we’ll follow em outta the pub an kick fuck outta the cunts in the car park. Trust me, they

aint so big an smart when they getta fist in their gob. Scream an whimpa like little gels, the

majority of the time.

 

Anyway, looks like the rains gonna stop inna bit, good old English weva, eh?

Do ya want me to pull over ere on the left, matey?

Righteo.

That’ll be fourteen quid fifty, please boss.

Nice talkin ta ya.

Take it easy, mate.

Ave a gud un.

On Being Fourteen Years Old and Needing New Shoes by Stephen J. Golds

On Being Fourteen Years Old and Needing New Shoes

 

If I was having a shit time at home,

it never really felt as bad

if the sun was out,

burning everything.

 

When it rained,

the rain always seemed to try

its best to ruin me.

Destroy me.

 

The dirty water would seep

through the holes

in the soles

of my shoes and

my socks would absorb

the water like sponges.

 

I remember once

I put my foot on

a piece of cardboard and

drew a line around it

with a black marker pen,

cut it out and taped it

 

into my shoe,

it didn’t do anything.

The water still seeped in,

made the cardboard

a soggy mess and

it was useless

 

like

everything

else.

 

I asked my dad for a new pair shoes but

he just stared at my old shoes hanging

from my hands limply like two dead black baby pigs and

asked what the hell was wrong with those shoes.

I showed him the holes

in the worn smooth soles

 

and

 

he nodded and took them into the kitchen and closed the door.

When he came out and gave them back to me

I saw he had put black electrical tape over the holes.

I said thank you and

went up to my room,

threw the shoes against the wall and

laid on the floor listening to

the

television

blaring up

through

the floorboards.

Leaving Home For Work with OCD by Stephen J. Golds

Leaving Home For Work with OCD

 

Okay, I’ve got my bag. I’ve got my wallet. Check. Subway pass? Check.

Wallet.

Subway pass.

Touched them?

Yes.

Yes.

In my pockets. They’re there.

Okay, keys. Yes. Keys. Got them.

What about the windows? They’re closed. Checked? No, but I know they’re closed. Okay. Go and check them again. Touch the glass. Touch the handles. Yes, closed. Securely closed. Touch them. Make sure.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Seven touches means they’re shut securely. Lucky seven. Lucky seven. Lucky seven. Windows are securely closed.

Okay, gas cooker. It’s off. Touch it, make sure. It’s cold to the touch. Touch it seven times.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Lucky seven.

Is it leaking gas? I can’t smell any gas. Ignite your cigarette lighter over the grill. Make sure. Fuck, I almost forgot my cigarettes and lighter. Okay. Got them. They’re in my jacket pocket. Touch them. Check. They’re there.

Try the gas cooker. Yes, okay. No explosion. I’m still here. No leaky gas. Touch the valve. Make sure it’s off. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Lucky seven. Gas stove is safe.

Go and touch the windows again. No, they’re securely closed. I did the lucky seven count. Go and check them again. Touch the glass again. Touch the handles again. Yes, closed. Securely closed. Touch them. Make sure.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

 

Okay. Fuck. Going to be late to work.

Front door.

Bag in right hand. No, change it. Left hand. Bag in left hand. That’s better. Okay.

Wallet? Yes. Touch it. It’s in my pocket.

Subway pass? Yes. Touch it. It’s in my pocket.

Cigarettes and lighter? Yes. I’ve got them. Touch. Yes, In my jacket pocket.

What about the refrigerator? It might be open. Fuck. Quickly go back and touch it.

Okay, refrigerator, it’s closed. Touch it. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Lucky seven. Lucky seven. It’s closed securely.

Front door again.

Keys.

Are the lights off? Yes!

Keys. In my hand.

Open the door and leave. Okay.

Lock the door. Check the handle. Yes, it’s locked. Check it. It’s locked. Check. It’s locked. Locked. Locked. Locked.

Fuck, going to miss the train again.

Check the door again.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Lucky seven. Door is locked. Let’s go.

Go back, check again.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Lucky seven. Lucky seven. Lucky. Seven. Lucky fucking seven. It’s fucking locked. Let’s fucking go already.

It might still be open. Check it again, just in case.

Fuck!

Touch it.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Okay! Lucky seven. It’s locked. Calm down. Let’s go. I did the lucky seven count. Lucky fucking seven. It’s good. It’s locked.

 

 

Almost at the subway station. I can make it with five minutes to spare.

What about the front door?

It was fucking locked. I fucking checked it.

Go back make sure. Do the lucky seven count three more times. Just to be sure. Need to be sure.

Fuck!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Mr Golds

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.