Out of Place by Stephen Daniels

The home was ruptured, a double-glazed
window invitation, with net curtain sight.
Blood became décor with scrapings of skin,
hung loosely on doors, sideboards, walls.

The apology, pathetic disturbance, pleaded me to look
further. The first room was filled with lampshade
movements that betrayed my back and forth mind
looking to swing at his trembling fists.

‘Sorry’, tripped from his swollen wooden lips
like a ventriloquist’s dummy: the mouth moved
but the voice and expressions portrayed
something else. Again, the still face performed.

Sound was thrown into the hall, alongside
her disrupted necklace, broken chains,
leading a procession to the kitchen
where scratched pine table legs no longer hold.

Gas stove mood lighting fuelled the situation,
catching on dust in the air to ignite a flicker of amber.
Tomato juice splatters, scarred the patterned tiles –
scourers stained the sink with unclean apologies.

Upstairs motionless, half her body hung into the bath.
Her middle folded like a tea-towel waiting for dishes.
The soles of her feet stared at me, a solitary toe
the remaining connection between the floor and what was.

Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and websites. His pamphlet ‘Tell Mistakes I Love Them’ was published in 2017 by V. Press. His second pamphlet “£5 for this love’ will be published later this year by Paper Swans Press.


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