November 15, 2021

Cold Feet / Darkness Has a Smell by John Tustin

Cold Feet

The rain falls in sheets
As the music plays.
I look outside, hear the splattering
Upon my roof,
The street outside becomes a river

And I close my shades,
Get in bed, put the blanket up higher
As I shiver,
My blue skin trying not to notice
The cold

As I wait for your bare feet
To come in and get warm
Next to mine.

The rain subsides,
The sounds outside now just birds
And the occasional passing car.
I finally fall asleep for a little while.

I wake up in the darkness.

The rain no longer falls in sheets
And the only sounds now
Are the leaky bathroom faucet
And the wind in the trees
That sway outside of this room
Where I lie awake
With my endless night
And my broken heart
And my cold feet.

Darkness Has a Smell

It smells like houses aflame
It smells like the sulfur of hell
It smells like a piano bashed
To smithereens

It smells like a derailed train
It smells like a car on the side of the road
And smoking
With the hood up

It smells like bodies discovered
After years buried and hidden
It smells like the clean fur
Of a cat who is always watching you

It smells like El Paso motels
An underpass in Corpus Christi
The River Styx
When the skeleton boatman
Stirs it

It smells like you and me
When you are there
And I am here
The lightning flashing
And illuminating nothing

And everything

John Tustin is currently suffering in exile on Elba but hopes to return to you soon. contains links to his published poetry online.

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