3 poems by Matthew Hall

The Cost of Today

Wishing away yesterday
is not quite working out
the ‘no regrets’ policy
is a sucking of water into the lungs

I have tried to forget
as rain forgets the ocean
and imagines a moonless sky
but truth spills over when the tide breaks

Mistakes lead me here
one legged crows and damp aching bones
lead me here

If not for heavens doors slamming shut
if not for flesh fertilising the ground
and feeding the worms
I would not be here

A frozen heart beats fast and loud once thawed
pounds against the chest
dances persistently
counts the blessings and stands on mistakes
presses down and elevates

Fresh air is for those who have suffocated
and now, here
I breathe in and press down


I am taking the day off
a day where the thread of sock cotton caught in my toes
and the black hairs on my white belly
and the small spider that appears from time to time
from behind my third hand, two seated sofa
are all one and the same
the radio is off
the television is off
I have polish sausage in my refrigerator
and the strangers, known or otherwise
are dulled by this
pushed to the back of my mind
I hear the business
know it is there
but the spider and I
my toes and their sock-cotton
this white belly and the hairs attached to it
are safe and far removed

Falling in Love with a Photograph

I lived at the time alone in a three bedroom terrace house
each night I played guitar in front of the television
surrounded by photographs of people I once knew
when I went to bed late I looked at the photo of her on my bedside
it was the last and first thing I looked at every day
I thought about leaving the gas on and going to sleep
but knew there was little fairness in a move like that
every time I looked at that photograph she was smiling
and in the end I became tired of it
resented it
blamed it even for the loneliness
it was around that time that I started to notice small imperfections
hair on her upper lip
a steady yellowing in her teeth
a contradiction in her eyes
a suggestion of receding in her once beautiful hairline
and the uglier she became the better I felt
until one day I had no more need of her
I put her in a small wooden box and nailed it shut with carpet tacks
placed her in the back of the drawer in the end of my bed
she is still in that box now
but the box is in my loft
along with my guitar and photographs of people I once knew
but I know she is there just in case I get lonely enough
in this new flat with an electric cooker and no gas


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Jeremiah Walton

Jeremiah Walton is wary of writing a bio.

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