CALLOUSES AND BROKEN LINES
The sun had burnt his hands ever so slightly,
like the colour of black tea touched by milk.
Unsweetened and rough, bruises and scars
dotted his skin. A worker’s hands, his mother said.
There were lines and curves, fleshy and raw,
some ran down his fingers, others adorned the knuckles.
Young, he had picked up a habit of picking the scabs,
out of every wound he’d win. Like medals, his mother said.
His fingertips were the roughest, spent and calloused.
Every print on each tip was broken a hundred times,
the breaks as unpredictable as his clumsiness, to him,
it made his touch unkind. You’re a man now, his mother said.
A deep scar cascaded down his right middle finger,
the one that got caught in the door of an Opel Corsa.
Most wounds would heal but this one stayed, this
and the lone slash on his wrist. A reminder, his mother said.
A mistake, that was what he called it, even if he wanted it,
before—before he had wrapped the towel, soon bloody,
around his arm, with a conviction he instinctively gained.
The sun crept through the window. It will be alright, his mother said.
Memories are etched on the mind as they are on the skin,
like the way a first kiss that lingers on the lips,
sadness touched his wrist. The mark it left was permanent,
and he bravely learnt the lesson. My brave little worker, his mother cried.
DUPRÉ, FROM THE MEADOW
I am plagued with visions,
gifted by a ruthless illness.
Death’s lover enjoys the
blotted out sun as much as
I would if I had not been raised
under the warm light.
Dupré, the young fair
boy from the meadow,
told me there was no reason,
no sense in caring.
All the same fate and end
meets us all so he would
have me give up.
Every night fall he holds me
tight and tighter, as time goes by.
Death grows jealous, but Dupré
lingers, knowing and teasing.
In the end, they both want me
and I struggle to not want them back,
for their embrace has become
Miguel Guerreiro Lourenço is a Portuguese poet and writer, currently living and studying in the United Kingdom. He is influenced greatly by many contemporary artists and slam-poets, but its his love for music, namely hip-hop, that shapes the flow and rhyme schemes of his pieces. Miguel aspires to entertain as much as to inspire, for he believes there is always something worth writing about in all of us.