Conor Larkin

When we met,
I truly believed, just for a moment,
at least,
that we could be.

Never before had I met you before,
but by your introduction alone,
I could imagine a brief forever,
something more.

Introducing yourself
with the my book on the table
was the easiest way to shove yourself
into my mind.

Named after the lead, and proudly
proclaimed
first-edition from
nineteen seventy-five.

But so decreed my fate,
my luck as destined by destiny itself,
I met you when I met everyone else –
for it’s only at the end of things
that I fall so easily.

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You only pose rejection from yourself

I hear your breathing from outside
this room.
Outside from where I stand.

Can you hear me too?
Standing inches from that wall?

Why are you still standing out there?
The lock only exists
within your head.

Just open the door,
just turn the knob
and
see that if you were to enter,
you’d find a welcome
underneath your feet.

A chair to sit by the window
to reveal the storming weather
that looks more like the actions
from an angry sea.

Stay indoors where we don’t have to
drudge our bodies through that mess anymore.
Leave that to our former selves,
the bodies we no longer need to be.

Come inside you silly man,
the repercussions are merely scenes in your
over-thinking head.

I am here by your side,
forever and always;
let those reverberating daydreams
die in your mind.

Addressed to UK (II)

I still check up on you.
Occasionally.
Not going far, stopped always
by a flash of pain and shame
that dances across my eyes,
raising my pulse into an incredible
chorus of, ‘Escape! Escape! Run while you can!’

But there I go.
Seeing if you’re still alive,
hoping you are doing well,
praying that you are finally happy.

Anything more and I would feel an intruder.
A spectrum in the night, living in the past
and finding changes in the present.

‘Escape! escape! Run while you can!’

My full frame crumbles,
I grow a little smaller,
head facing the floor because
that’s what I’m worth.

‘Escape! escape!’

A moth to the flame,
my fingers burn to a crisp
each and every time, but
look at how often I return.

‘Run!’

That’s what they call perseverance.
Or stubbornness.
A masochist, more likely.

I’ll learn my lesson, one day.
But that day has not come,
even though I wish it would.
To dull my thoughts into an
even neutral. No longer
affected by such small things
like your name,
your face,
your memory,
your taste,
your laugh,
your everything

that I fancied to be mine.

 

‘This is not a drill! Evacuate!’

 

A masochist, is what others call it.

A delusion, a vision in the clouds
even though I carve our names in the ground.
Crossing out mine with a line through the middle.

Asking again and  again the same question, hoping for an answer.

A masochist, a delusion, a day-dream
that will not quit.

I’ll work the life from my bones

I’ll work the
life from my bones.
Walk wearylike home
if that means to be prized
by you.

Who was I to think that I could
capture your heart so guarded?
Who were you to feign emotion
so well?

Quell these thoughts –
disarrange the pattern
that batters the brain.

Have I not had enough
of these messages
constantly sent by a part of me
I’d rather never know?

Served once more,
battered by a war I have long since
stopped fighting,
I feel the absence of you
again and again and again
until the weight causes the water in my
eyes to erupt.

They haven’t your accent,
but theirs will do for now.

Every writing I commit,
every action I set – is only in the
vain attempts to prove myself, I admit.

Isn’t it funny how wherever I go,
there is a memory of you?
A haunting, an etching
that makes this city only
an extension of you.

I write these messages for you

I write these messages for you,
hoping that you will read them – no –
devour them and understand how
high my regard is for you.

Sending them out in bottles,
hoping that you will find them soon
to realise that I now know what it is to love someone
because I have met you.

I am in a boat being rocked back by the sea
to the island that defined you and me –
moving on, but not really moving on.
Bullied back by the universe and
my lack of strength to row.

Pushed back by the dreams and
memories.
Pushed back by this everlasting
enchantment that I’m still not sure
if I put myself in, or if something else,
something greater did.

I send these bottles from the boat
because I don’t know what else do to.

I write of him, but think of you.
I write of him, but the words mean nil.
I write of him, but the feelings
are all for you.

I’m moving on, but staying still.
The wind pushing me back so strong
that every time that this boat hits the island,
a fragment falls off.

Sinking to the bottom of the shore, I see them
still, bathing in the sunshine, frozen in time
with perfection. But they will fade, they will
decay – those broken bits of wood will disintegrate.

But god damn, don’t they look great?
Shimmering and singing underneath this paradise-blue
ocean wasteland?
Not knowing the destiny that awaits.

The wind beats me back, but the bobbing bottles
bottled with all of these thoughts of you and me
fly out with unnamable speed.

Look, there they go – they are gone.
Posted with the stamp made only with hope.

I am here.
Rowing, but for no mellon boat race.
Unable to sail or swim.
Unable to leave these disintegrating, broken bits
just yet.

You took that island from me,
you stole the grounds underneath my feet and threw me like a gale
into this sea.

But I still see it, touch it,
am haunted by the nights when it was just
you and me.

Protecting me from the sun, the island’s shadow
keeps me cool. But I am unable to see around
the curve of the shores. Unable to know
if a rescue boat is stationed beyond the contour.

I send copies of
pictures and songs,
thoughts and faults,
all back to that place.

The originals sent out to you.
In bottles that never reach the beach.

Instead, floating in space.
Being viewed, it seems, by everyone else
who never set foot on that island,
never felt its unnamable grace.