There are three layers to your face:
the top is a masculine sheet of skin
it’s thin but deep creases
around the mouth and nose could get
you a part as an action hero.
Sometimes it flashes cherry-red
like the time I let you see me
naked. Streetlights revealed strips of
my flesh and a corner shop sign
glowed between my legs.
The second layer is one you
don’t want people to know
about. It’s still damp from the time your
kids said goodbye and your wife looked
on with a crooked smile. It bobs
beneath the surface like a jellyfish, pulsing
softly, stinging you with patches
of purple; a bruised melange
of fights and fall downs. It sheds
when you give yourself away after alcohol
or drugs or when there’s nothing left to
say apart from this,
this is my fucking life.
Finally there’s a layer
I don’t think you know about
because it’s too deep for you
to feel and if you did
it would coil around you
like a silvery noose.
Unless one day,
you manage to admit
that you’re lonely and you
want somebody to love you back
and it could be me or maybe
it couldn’t but if anything
I think you should know, I often
dream about you Jerome and in
that dream I pull my hair
over your head and I keep us safe
in my dark blonde tent,
I keep us safe.