it’s dark inside

              which suits me

it hides my imperfections

the guilt upon my skin

              the dread in my eyes

as they size me up

the red lights

make their faces look like

some sort of death

                their touch a shock

beyond disgust

i don’t know what i’m doing here

but i can’t control it

i roam through narrow passageways

lined with filthy secrets

there is a world above

tumbling through time

                        that may never know

i find the eyes i’ve been

              looking for

they follow me as i spill my


                all over the floor

i recall my grandfather         

                what would he think?

we’re all the same when we’re


we lay it down

in languages we cannot understand

we cannot exchange anything      

                  but fluid

i leave empty

                  and you begin again

Paul Robert Mullen @mushyprm35 is a poet, musician and sociable loner from Liverpool, U.K. He has three published poetry collections: curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018). He has been widely published in magazine, journals and anthologies worldwide including Barren Magazine, Bees are Dead, Black Bough Poetry, Elephants Never, Eunoia Review, Fevers of the Mind Poetry, Ghost City Press, Marias at Sampaguitas, Mojave Heart, The Foxglove Journal, The Interpreter’s House, The Pangolin Review, and Wellington Street Review. Paul also enjoys paperbacks with broken spines, and all things minimalist.

Banner Image “Untitled” by Robynne Limoges. Tweets at @LimogesRobynne.