Me & You in Ulysses

Melissa Lee-Houghton


Reasonable Doubt

An involuntary desire to live. These things exist In the Bible. People trying not to die in old times. Women trying not to live. Mist blanches the canal That circles around our houses. Perhaps I am now Childless. I didn’t kill him he died. Life – Killed him. Husbands with their dicks in everything. Norma the ginger horse paddles about in the mud. Frank the ginger cat loves the smell of fresh blood. When I bore foetuses I couldn’t hold on. I would Grab my belly and pray to God. Grab my belly-fat In clods. Raise my skirt and scream at the blood. You are a very terrible husband my love. Having become inured to barbarism, my arm Won’t stop shaking. The tremor is involuntary – My arm wants to grieve. My babies want to live. My body wants to expel itself. My hair is mad serious. Love is not a pastime; it is not rote. Breathing beneath An upturned boat. My Olympic heart rides out My flipper feet feel nowt. When you first believe – You are not loved one bit. I want to live in a pond At the soggy end. I no longer wish to be convenient. I dance in the rain in the night to evoke floods. A water-tower full of Barbie dolls. My sister shaved Their heads to shame me so I sheared my own. A boy tried to shame me so I made him cum; he Shocked bright red. I don’t care who wins anything. If this were enough my bed wouldn’t lean. I’m sorry You do not know me at all – an unfortunate barrier – Am I an accessory or on loan? I’m better than anyone You know. My body glows in the dark bright pink – Eschews fornications and gives great results – I play the harp with my nipples. You were here And now you’re not. I can’t even afford that bedsit – Disowned: monsoons exist to have fun; satellites Don’t care who they orbit. When I started digging, I was only twenty-one. I crawled across tables In lace-trimmed socks. I was hope’s hallucinated maiden – A cracked rib enters the lung. I don’t feel so well. You hear that? I don’t feel too good. I’ll distract you By modulating my breathing. My heart hammers Like the almost-hanged. I’ve been cutting your hair For years. You never stroked mine like a cat – I will stroke you all over like a lynx. A pleasure must be Merciless. I don’t know where your body is, dad. The town flushes green then begins to rise; bodies Knock me about. My cracked humerus has not healed – I jabbed a needle into it. If you could just make me vanish, Would you do it? May I lick your lips? Bedsheets full of Moth dust. I call and call the coroner to book a new Appointment. We all shall die of unrequited hate. Can I get a witness? I live beyond all reasonable doubt – Barefoot out in the street. My monstrous grief is inviolate.


All that jaw in your face. Jaundice I thought was all the orange juice. We liked our vodka with it & Melleril, A little heroin and microwavable burgers. No one should die shivering like that At least a fairly warm death or I don’t know. When you know you are About to die violently and there’s No way out your body floods your brain With so much dopamine You can’t feel a thing. Want to know How I know that?

Me & You in Ulysses

Stephen in the Martello tower crawling with lichen Sack-clothed and we wait for the gurney. I meet you For coffee and it hasn’t rained all year – not like We fix. It’s rainy in Manchester you know. Or wherever is here. You tell me we’ve been had but I’ve known it all the time. Your shirt smells Delicious. The blood isn’t as real as it feels. You Think we might hold hands for a while but it Never comes. All night I have been lying On my broken arm. Blood fills the skin indented To the carpet. You are not tokenistic sorry, you are Exhumed here. Over the sea from the sea-sprayed Outer wall we can see there is no way home. I say prayers for all the terrible ones making their Solitary conditions inferior. I pin Red orchids in my hair to greet you. I am A good deal thinner. If you are saved, I understand, I feel sharpened. I said some things today, regrettably – But I love you. And that’s the last meteor flying over. The sea-spray makes us salty. You explain human Nature to me. It’s incredibly Napoleonic. Drones fly over, made of plastic. We have all endured A friend who has rocked us with turbulence. Your head above the sea, your soft clothes In my hand. I have premonitions, but that’s A tale for another Tuesday. Remember when soldiers Used to come running toward one another yelling? With silly tin helmets on? Cheering on the other Team. It was at least colourful. Remember when we Went to battle in our best zoot suits? You were not Jealous of me then and you never have been. You were not Even envious of my phrenic landscaping. You’re dressed Like Graham Greene and I am going to the cathedral. You’ll be shot and I’ll die draped over a pew. At least we won’t be culpable, in dreams. At least we won’t be stoned to sleep in dreams. At least the sea and sky will stay blue. Over Brighton, Over Vanuatu. You see a rainbow that is only yours. It doesn’t reflect anywhere on the planet Beside your retinas. Not even there, as it happens. I want to see it so hard it’s like acid in my mouth – You tell me the blue is missing, the red and the Yellow – you tell a lie to boost my ego and it Doesn’t shoot. Because the short man is coming over; He’s absolutely enamoured by this raw hot war. He knows the last words of many men are ‘mama’ And so we only nod and bray. When we win, What is it we win? I suck on a drumstick lolly, In a bombed-out pastoral scene. Death is only Peripheral. I was all alone, and when you fall my darling Out of the doorless door I am always here.