Footprints

August 4, 2009

There are footprints on my wings
from where you cast me out
shadow black like coffee rings
shadow black, an admiral print.

There on my back
from where your foot
there on my back
pushed like a boot.

I wear your mud and dust like stripes,
I wrap them round my front at night,
your writing’s on my spine,
your writing’s down my sides,
your cowboy soles are on my mind.
There are footprints on my wings.

You said I was your favourite thing
that night we danced around the clouds,
you took my arms and spun me round.
But there are footprints on my wings.

You said you thought the earth had moved
when I walked in and round a room,
you said I made the heavens sing.
But there are footprints on my wings.

Last week I saw a woman stare
her look like pity opened bare.
I can’t wear glasses on my back
I can’t disguise your blue and black
your footprints on my wings.

There in Sainsburys by the veg
I saw her look and look again
like underneath her clothes
there might be footprints on her bones

I saw her shift away from him
her arms around her fragile wings
and him like you.

But everyday they fade some more
their purple kisses, dimming thoughts
and every night I sponge them down
and water runs like feelings drowned,
your footprints from my wings

I can’t keep coming back for more
now the marks are not so raw.

If she and I could leave today
like all the marks, just fade away
we’d walk with wishbones, never say
that there were footprints on our wings,
they’d be no footprints on our wings,
no more footprints on our wings.

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