Matt O’Brien


The dry walls are alive with fidgeting claws

that scratch the cavities bare

until there’s nothing left but little spy-holes.


On the other side just behind my head

I hear him loudly writhing in bed with someone else,

gasping with each mouthful

as they give themselves away to one another and me,

love-sick on the mattress,

nails rawed down to nothing but flesh.


I fold love notes with whatever written on them

and bury them within the deepest depths

of my slippers.


Shuffle in my shoes for a day

and you’d know the dry white specks on the bathroom mirror

are more than just flecks of toothpaste.


I take my clothes off to the taste of paint-stripper,

mildewed onto the delicate cobwebs

that have stitched themselves together across my lips.


I open the window to welcome the night

and inhale the toxicity of noxious cigarettes.


The taste of stars is overwhelming

as my tongue crawls with spider legs.

About the poet:

My name is Matt O’Brien and I am studying for a post-graduate degree in teaching. I graduated from Huddersfield with a degree in English Language and Creative Writing, and since then, I have been published by Grist in their anthology ‘A Complicated Way of Being Ignored’, Indigo Rising UK, and 5 Minute Fiction.

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