Your latest orchestral piece is a limestone cliff that you want me to throw myself off. Instead I jumpstart the Cortina and drive it slap bang into the space between notation and stave, but not before taking your Zippo out of the glove box and setting fire to the house. Later you’ll pull back your cuff like some inky conjuror, all the strings blooming in a bilge of bindweed and black flowers. Your face is seedcase hard and my desire, once large and incalculable, sits snivelling now in the bath with a craft knife in its hand. You own a basement flat in Balham, its walls, its ceilings; its ridiculous path and stained glass hold all the phrasing that doesn’t end up in the auditorium. You made this happen. After all the hems and stocking tops, I thought you’d know that this is who I am, that it bears no relation to your standing as a person, as a man. Create something out of the first time you found me with my head where it ought not to have been. Say my name in the rests. Say my name in the space. Take the audience somewhere they’ve never been. And in the garden, by the back gate, there’s a coda of light where I left my fragile breath: it’s been scored down the middle and prised in two like a beetle. The gravelling of another Sunday under my knees does nothing to address the keening or the boredom. The shutters at the window, the five-levered mortise, the stunted answerphone messages that sing we’re out when really we’re in. The concrete floor, the panic room of your armoured heart. Let’s not start this up again.  Smooth your hair in the mirror and take something to eat from the fridge when you leave.

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