All Dead Men
Your temper blasted off like the confetti on the birthday you told me
I was nothing.
Conveniently forgotten during a three volley salute.
And I think about it as I hear the bullets cut the sky,
breaking like the fireworks from that celebration
but flying over as silver sparrows in your mourning.
There where tears on handkerchiefs for sure that day,
much like this one
only with quivering smiles at your better memories,
when I wasn’t nothing
and you were alive.
And the thought brings me back to the reality of your casket
the one I picked out for you
But for me,
your haunting is heavy and dense like the flag they place on your coffin
which they wrap up tightly in a fold.
Much like the secrets we kept between us
that I shouldn’t speak of
because all dead men are hero’s
Grief sits with you like the stink of a dog
who snaps at your heels when you try rescue him from the mud.
You haul him on your back despite the stench
while the sepsis in his skin festers in every good thought you have and every smile you feel.
Because you shouldn’t carry anything but the weight of him.
The sight of him,
and the breath of his carrion,
seeps into you when his sorrow howls
and plays out scenarios in your dreams of how he got there.
Hit down on the side of the road
beaten bloody by a life that dragged him there;
behind some car
in a sack,
with rocks that cut him open,
that you now feel.
Your Hair Woman
It’s not the same
unless you let him pull it really hard from behind
until there’s an vicious arch in
For his visual treat.
Long locks are so feminine, and easy to grab,
and measures your glory when he’s back there.
He’ll hold it, twist and tug
pressing into you firmly with a
Thud, Thud, Thud.
You sultry woman!
It’s not the same
on your body unless you
treat it, or tease it, or tweeze it, or bleach it
and don’t complain about it please
and smile for heavens sake.
Remember your hair;
can’t be au naturel,
you have to keep him keen
just slide back sweetly like peaches and cream.
Its not the same
Unless you’re just right
Just like in his wet dreams
where your pussy’s shaven and tight
I’m not porcelain
Don’t talk to me like I’m some
frail piece of porcelain
about to crack at your pressure
and judgment in the deliberation
into the state of my mental health
because you don’t hear the things I tell myself
Amy-Jean Muller is an artist, writer and poet from South Africa who lives and works in London. Both her art and writing explore culture, memory, mental health, identity, femininity, and sexuality. She has exhibited her art in South Africa and London. Her writing can be found in various publications and is a regular contributor for Versification, The Daily Drunk and Poetry EIC for Outcast Press. Her poetry book, Baptism by Fire, was released in January 2021. She has been nominated for both Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. She also writes transgressive fiction and is currently completing her first novel, a collection of short stories, and a second poetry collection. amyjeanmuller.com | Twitter: @muller_aj