There was a time, pink sky time, where the sun hugs the earth goodbye, that I felt it. The kind of shiver to your belly that happens but once in a while. Not often like some folks say. They're the ones that claim to be falling in love, out of love, in love, out of love day after night, but not I.
‘Cause I know true love, see.
It sneaks up on you, quiet as mouse feet. Curls round your fingers and breathes hot down your neck. It is the stuff that spills over doors and inbetween floorboards.
But it's not sudden as all they speak.
Not thunderbolts but jelly instead. Settling soft over time, up inside my bones. Turning over my belly until I think my feet’ll fly skywards as I'll slip to the floor with all this flipping and rolling insides of me. But somehow I remain standing. Straight lines fall from my eyes and all else blurs to mess. Like a child’s painting. My mouth is desert dry like I swallowed a sandpit, and I feel that all be looking to me, as if I stand out of place, some heat sucking camel in the midst of Elephant and Castle.
Bloody Elephant and Castle.
I hate the place. It’s like back in the day they looked to this big grey roundabout with thoughts on how the sight of it sucks at your soul, and they spun tricks with words to make you believe it's something other than it really is. Until you get here of course. Then there's no denying the loud greyness that builds to the sky and the stream of traffic drawn in circles. It's almost as if they had a laugh naming it up all exotic, like the shape of the words can conjure up the strength of elephants and big old time castles. Makes you think of some nice ways of living.
But I’m no camel. And folk aren’t staring.
This jelly inside takes the shape of a swarm of butterflies, chasing each others tales round my heart space making it jump faster than it wants to. And I have no control of it. The noise all arounds fades down like I muted it to nothing and I hear the very workings of my body like someone plugged me into an amp. As if I am a machine man made, all the pieces fitting as one.
He’s there. So close my lips taste the same air. I remember back in science class when the teacher said we are all made up of the same atoms just taking different shapes. I like the thought. He is me and I am him. There's not no difference really, we just fell to different shapes.
And I know, with all that is in me to know, that together our atoms could be beautiful. It sounds stupid when I say it like that, but I don’t mean it in no soppy girl way. I mean in some other real kind of beauty. Not no maybelline loreal advert here, but the true state of the word. Back to tree roots and mountain highs and the green of moss growing colours on a rock. Or the cotton wool pass of a cloud against blue sky. That’s the kind of beauty I speak on.
He looks to me and I think that now is the time to seize on what’s growing like ivy inside of me, wrapping itself round my being and turning red as the months go. Now is the time to speak it all out, spill the butterflies at his feet and touch jelly into something elephant heavy.
There's a pink sky behind him, and it turns his hair candy floss light. He licks on his lips and a little bit of sick feeling grows in me. I know that it's now or never. I'm never going to get this candy floss sky back and there's a danger that if I don’t speak it my chest’ll burst open with the shapes of all I want to say. And then someone’ll have to clean that mess. So.
My hand brushes against his. It feels the heat of a water-bottle when winter comes. Lips shape a smile and he throws one back.
My blood melts.
I see how it will flow out, the nice flat on the other side of town, simple but our own. Window’s looking to some patch of green so our children can play safe. Two, a boy and a girl. Faces like their fathers. Kitchen smells up the taste of spices grown far away and on our walls we hang pictures of foreign lands filled up with colour. A bed feather soft that takes me there. And arms that hold tight through the night. I see how it will be and I know it's time to share it so. To make it real.
And I finally speak. I open my mouth to let the butterflies flow. But what happens instead is the shiver to my belly grows hard like a shell. The words that I thought would fly form slug-like and heavy on my tongue. Pink sky fades red to blue to night. And I speak.
“Would you like fries with that, Sir?”