In The End: Rough Hands/Tempered Hearts


I’ve left my latest coded verse on the counter top

For you to read first, and when you’re finished with that

I’ll practice headstand on the kitchen tiles, for you to mark

1- 10 with those real,

Rough hands.


I know the words that will fall off your tongue

Next like they are wrapped in cellophane:

Air-tight and delivered with precision.

‘That was good’

‘I liked it’

With the big blue eyes.



You start the car, and I’ll slice the bread into fingers

Then lay them out, with my own, just for you.

Two eggs, one cup of milk, four coffee shots with the pea berry beans

The way we like it.

I wait by the door for your word

And expect nothing more than the adult moments

Lovers live with.


Content enough

Holding make-believe nonchalance

Closer to my chest than a straight flush,

There is no need to fuss over pretty things

Like passion.



I’ll pop the kettle and smile at the space you stand in,

The corners of our lips held high by hope and habit.

Leave the tea bag in, two sugars in the big blue cup.

We wind down to roll the day between thin papers

And puff it out like poetry, as ash begins to settle

Between the sheets we bought last weekend.



Flat white in the tin mug I brought back last summer,

A floor filled with uniforms and unread books.


I pull the bedsheets back to air out the unseen smoke

That had sank beneath us in the middle of the night,

To find nothing but

The monotony of a future

Framed inside four walls,

At age twenty one.


2 thoughts on “In The End: Rough Hands/Tempered Hearts

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