Sandcastle City

This poem was inspired by an anonymous post on; 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.[1]

‘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.

[1] Lucas LaRochelle, Queering the Map, (2018) <; [accessed 20 May 2018].

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