They say that
a smile costs nothing but
every time I’m afraid, I smile.
is my fear worth? Each
lip pull-up drains my soul bank dry
Taxi driver, here: take my smile as payment
as I trust you to take me to my
stay in Seoul. You gave me
a kindly running commentary
but my lips stayed stiff;
Rigor mortis. Bravery: RIP
Even in my own company
this one thing
rings and clangs around my headspace:
I am afraid, I am afraid
and it isn’t to do with the cities
or the Sanskrit squiggles of the language; I could be in Tokyo
I could be
canoeing, walking, screaming,
fucking – and my heart would still say
Wait. Don’t forget it. You’re afraid.
I’m thinking of getting it
tattooed on my grave. Lasting memory
of sour tastes
and chain-smoked cigarettes that
make a stone circle
around my feet.
Some lousy protection, eh?
and sitting here, drinking
drinking so I don’t have to be walking
(Can you hear my heart?
‘You are afraid’)
solo missions will it take
To smile a smile that says
Not ‘You’re afraid’, but