On the Phone – Dale Booton

                 you list all the ways
you have thought to kill yourself

recite them like a register at school
each name that familiar stranger

somewhere within the playground
of your house    I want to die

your voice is the smell of soil
after rainfall    I know the word

but here it is meaningless    much like
my own words I try to bandage

you in    here my words are the paracetamol
to your cancer    here my heart plays

the innocent child    you the angry
father brandishing your belt

Dale Booton (he/him) is a twenty-seven year old queer poet from Birmingham. His poetry has been published in various places, such as Verve, Young Poets Network, Ligeia, Queerlings, Fahmidan, Tealight Press, Dreich, Spelt, Acid Bath Publishing, Corporeal, en*gendered, and Muswell Press. He recently hosted the Young Poets Takeover at Verve Poetry Festival. He is currently working on his first pamphlet. Twitter: @BootsPoetry

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