This poem was inspired by an anonymous post on queeringthemap.com; a ‘community-generative’ website which allows LGBT+ people to document their ‘queer moments, memories and histories’ on an interactive map of the world, unifying the concepts of narrative, identity, and place.
‘was homeless, came to stay on your floor, you had moved on, I hated your new gf.’ Queering the Map user, Sheffield.
I am better acquainted with the pins in my shoes
Which guide me through the deep channels
Of this biscuit tin sandcastle city and I
Am begging for something to peel the pain away
Brutalist blocks rest behind a gauze curtain
And I stand at its feet with an outstretched hand
Cutting it out of the midday haze
Anonymous lovers, too close to touch
And the reason I was at your door
At a quarter to eight in the morning
Was because I remembered your smile
And how it curled around my body like blood
I’d settle for your floor but your sighs
Make bricks and wood between us
Press it down, flip it over
Give it a pat
So, I build myself from shattered glass
Crumpled receipts and bus tickets
Nether Edge to Netherthorpe
Empty cans like snapping bones in my bag
What do I do now you’re not here?
And plastic models of Adam and Steve
Fall from the scale white model of the Moor
Forcing my mouth underground
Into the night – where I find no comfort in the lunar glow of people working late
Into the depths – where I am invisible
Into the echo chamber – where your voice is a scratched disk in my head
Gritting my teeth, I trade an uncanny hand for a bed.