Four Lockdown Poems
Poems about lockdown, Tinder and feeling like a teenager again.
The cheating sun keeps coming up
and the world has stopped.
The sea creases like it creased
back when we read philosophical meanings
in dual carriageway signs: Stay Alert, Stay Alive.
We go nowhere no more. The sky let out a sigh.
No planes in the air. No restless tourists
in Trafalgar Square. No lovers lurching
through the Louvre. I imagine us, 50 years
from now, wrinkled skin, we played our part.
I still read too much into coincidental meetings,
the evening news and broken hearts.
The summer before it all
Summer screeches in
and I have lived here before.
What’s the reward
for waiting, waiting, waiting?
The train goes by at midnight
and it sounds like regret.
I tell the time by its slow sad sighs.
I tell the time at
Nine, at nine thirty, at ten.
I can tell myself to keep waiting
Like there’s something
certain at the end.
But I guess I’ve learned
that nothing is stable.
my idols disappoint
me. My friends break down
at birthday parties over
plastic cups, over garden tables.
It’s not been the same
since April and I heard someone
say to go insane right now
is a sign of sanity.
Sanity is as hollow as an empty
bottle spinning on its side,
hurtling over the edge,
smashing on the grey patio,
red, crystal, bright sparkling glass.
It’s hard to write about
the future, but people
keep asking me and I keep
thinking about the past.
Now I’m so drunk I can
hardly tie my laces but
this is the nicest
afternoon I’ve had in ages
and I’m waiting, waiting
to see you again,
for the summer before it all to end.
Learning to be sixteen again
Angel, I awoke in an empty bed
to a quiet city and a hangover.
My old habits have unravelled
too many times but
feel new in this strange world
where cafés slumber in the streets.
My empty coffee cups pile up
in the room where I light candles
to pass the time. We exist on
the edge of the news now,
matter much less than we knew.
You muse about God and I’m
learning to slowly be sixteen again.
Tinder in Lockdown
Screens lit up with faces
are the only places we see faces
now but we are used to this game.
Growing up in mirror selfies,
I sold my soul to dating apps.
‘We want you’ she said though
it wasn’t clear from her profile
that she was a we. Perhaps she and he
decided a pandemic was the perfect time
to ‘spice up’ their sex life.
Three days before lockdown
a man in a navy-blue coat
asked me out for a drink.
I said: Don’t you think we should
stay inside so more people don’t die?
He said I was buying into media panic
then he unmatched me. Quickly.
The pubs closed the next day and
all alone I took a silent pleasure
in having proven a stranger wrong.