Punch Drunk Love

A Haibun

Dedicated to Lara Popovic, Chris McCabe, my father, Rebecca Gray, various men, Peter Fialkowski, and PT Anderson.


Sunday morning at Tesco, not the Metro, on busy Bethnal Green Road. I wear a bright beacon back pack on both shoulders and flat shoes. I just pass hip height trolley barriers and my phone rings. The main entrance offers sunshine and signal. I tred back, set down metal basket, stand casual, face open, and speak to father. I hear the doors slide open and shut on occasional repeat. He is on the equator. He hears my tears.
Air escapes sometimes
Overstretched in no map land
Alive parched alive


Saturday evening unusual activity. I pass the glass and metal shiny jewellery store in the air controlled mall in a secondary financial outcrop. Canary Wharf a tall cave above. “This is where I bought his wedding ring,” flashes through my mind. My footsteps do not alter. In silent motion, slow recall of a homemade envelope and a teenager’s love letter unspools. February 15th 1994. Black ink runs out and blue is tried. His is an eraser shaped head. Cross cut to my quickening when the married man smiles and says over catch up coffee, “You haven’t changed a jot.”

Sovereign princess
Do not love him in your way
All power is loss


Any late night. I look down and admire the blue of his eyes – open focus: male skin, fine flecked fawn hair and the thin curl of a mouth – offset by cotton sheets, fairy lights and sleeping foxes of the outside night. This is a still life in a fey movie. So then desire: a sledgehammer to smash his atoms in, a pipette to drop him on my tongue, my skin, sew new buttons on his old coat, cook meat stew in a heavy bottomed pan, blaze and bury constellations together.

Open window moon
One world points to the other
No skin between cells


Copyright Vera Chok March 2013

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