the walls, the floors, the ceilings
within the house were
the hollowest, the
most shame inducing
I’d ever seen them.
Our daughters were comfortable
at their Grandmother’s house and
the rooms within the place were
the quietest, the
most gut puncturing
I’d ever heard them.
Sitting on a dining chair, that was
without a dining table then, I was five kilos lighter.
Staring at so many brown cardboard boxes and
I smoked, twisting the band of platinum
upon my flesh but had departed from yours
so many bitter raptures ago.
You told me to go outside,
the tobacco stunk, you moaned but
I just waved my hand at
the vapid emptiness
of what had been our family home
like what did anything like that
really matter now.
hours later, after everything. I had unpacked, and
I sat alone within the wailing walls of single occupancy,
missing my children with such
a terminal and utter and complete
feeling of drowning vacancy that
I wondered how long I could survive until final stage suicide
took a choking embrace of my vital organs and squeezed me breathless.
now I sit on a balcony with plants and colors of flowers,
our daughters plant seeds in small pots of soil and giggle together.
Dirt kissing their fingertips and
sunshine caressing their long hair.
I wipe away a tear quickly as I watch them
and swallow a bittersweet happiness
before they can catch it with their glittering eyes.
Now I’m just living
for the time I can be with them
like this and they’re free from
our constant, stagnant, gangrenous warring as though
we were the children in the family all along
and we’ve finally grown up now and
For a Woman I Wish I Never Met
he warned me,
never to trust
a woman who
in a bar.
It was a woman
in a bar who
drank my drinks and
a little later told me
all about Mistletoe.
She taught me a lot of things.
How to really drink and how to really fuck, how to really go crazy
and she taught me that
Mistletoe is a beautiful plant
as white as virgin snow.
is a parasitic plant,
it attaches itself
to a host tree
sucks it dry
of water and nutrients,
until the host tree is
just a dead husk,
a hollow kind of death
a hollow kind of beauty.
I should have
and I should have
Thoughts Before and After a Divorce
it’s the small
moments that change your life.
For better, for worse.
I don’t know
who said that
but I think
it’s probably the truth.
In sickness and in health.
The small moments.
An unset alarm clock.
A missed train.
A broken shoelace.
A bar in
an old part of town.
A new woman,
with a new laugh,
a new body
Till death us do part.
Stephen J. Golds was born in the U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. Glamour Girl Gone, his debut novel, will be released by Close to The Bone Press on January 29th, 2021.