By Elise Bugeja

I’m back.
Returned to what was old but now present
Back to the waiting room. Punished to be waiting
To be contemplating how we keep creating paths back to where we first felt safest.
The place we’ve grown out of, its uncomfortable now.
But we scavenge for any scraps of happiness that’s hidden in this place.

Back a step, down from my upwards direction.
Staring down this revolving revolver
Hypnotised by those happy bullets;

I think they are smiling at me. Are they smiling at me?
Like one of those men who smile.
And try their luck with a pun of the tongue that runs thin.
As it’s the same one they had done to all the other ladies he hadn’t won before me.
Those quips what whip your self-esteem in half. They
Wet your hand with fret and the sweat of the drink that you keep spilling.
Whiskey is whittled as you shaken under the stirring of hesitant laughter.
Those bullets have serious charm.

Back to this narrowed vision.
down one of those tiny toy cameras
that flick you back to tinged memories.
It’s funny which ones we filter out and those we keep seeing flashing back at us.
Only when you look up from the camera
it just doesn’t seem as nice as the set of six pictures Staring back at me.

Back at me
From the bottom of that cider can.
Or in amongst those mischievous shot glasses I seem to regularly rummage through.
Dabbling in the acidic babbling forming my own personal language
that scrambles in a perpetual ramble, that resembles a stack of spilt scrabble pieces.

The bar seat; my arm chair. I sit like some taxidermy dog
Whimpering and pining after my liquor flavoured childhood
Feelings didn’t need a prescription then, when all you needed to feel was natural.
Or maybe that’s the syrup flavoured filter this daiquiri is putting it in.
I can never be sure of that.

But I step back and stare down to the dead lifeless eye in the soft part of the bullet’s balled head.
Like a baby sleeping.
How they look so beautiful when they’re asleep
tucked up in a little mettle tube of artillery.
I want to go home.



Back home. Only I don’t quite know where that would be
I’d prefer to sip on joyless sex and smoke that temporary happiness.
I’ll take another hit for a cut on my responsibility, so I can get a raise on that pesky joy
That always wants to run away from me


Flick, flick.
I changing each bullet for the next one
Hoping my next move will bring a different result.
That’s what they call madness that. Down that barrel it’s a lonely place
But I don’t mind. It’s an arrow pointing to no feelings and no responsibility for other’s feelings.
Just filling myself up with those chemicals,
making me as numb as possible till one day I’m cold.
Cold as that taxidermy woman glued to that revolving bar stool staring down at those rose tinted bullets
Mummy, why’s that lady not moving?
Her glassy eyes are ice on what is left of my conscience.
Her face held all the warmth in the sun.
The heat in her eyes broke my cold soul into an old cold sweat
If I’d broken my pact with death and diverted my gaze
That sun would have seen my tears turn to steam
Then feel the solidified to wax of her sunny memory
and be warmed as it melts onto my shoulders,
moulding into what would feel like thick skin.
But of course
I didn’t see her.

When she’s here she’s wonderful
But she never stays long. It’s as though she is constantly late for something or has more deserving clients.
I get tired of her chase.
I unfortunately am a life time resident in this here bar

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