in this house
we flush our problems down the toilet
so that suffering and grief is only ever the gurgle of water/ wondrous/
thirsty/ as it swallows whatever we need to get rid of.
this is how we did away with my goldfish
& they say,
too, that this is how my mama did away with my baby sister/ coathanger and toilet/
felt like wet paint. said it was all dark
/and warm red.
in this house we break teeth not bones;
here we are taught: love is not gentle or pretty.
love is mutilation, soft /soft hurt,
feeding me your bits of rotten meat/ and tender fatigue/
that when god forgets you
& you become nothing less/ or more
than carrion amongst carrion in still water,
she will give you a (new) body
so much greater
girl that likes kissing girls, with a soft arched back and plump thighs and sheer blouse and nude panties and thick curled hair– a goddess in slant eyes, with a heavy lilting crackling voice like spinning vinyl, who can’t help but feel like a great big thing going nowhere fast. come here, to a place full of people hungry for you and spin for me i am envious of your beauty. come here. i will eat you up. i will love you.
girl that once was a boy, who hates her thick thighs because they remind her of wanting to be better, whose face isn’t round enough, who needs to be singularly and wholly woman because tugging at the pinches of her skin is dysphoria and cold dark places and crescents of pinked indents. come here, come in i am a house with wood floors and old brown couches let’s sit together and share warmth like lovers share breaths. i will give you a place to rest your head.
girl that is breaking, who cuts her skin with plastic knives and tears the seams of her dresses so she doesn’t have to wear them, who practises every night in front of the mirror her reasons not to wear a swimsuit but knows her words will only stutter and fall, who is scared of people because they all do the same, are the same, walk the same, talk the same and scream and hurt and hate the same. come here, i will give you bandages and help you hide things that you don’t want to be seen until you learn to love yourself. take it slow. i will hold you i promise i’ll be gentle.
girl that needs soft nice things. that needs to hear the word darling. that needs to be held. that needs a place to rest her soul. that needs love. that needs someone who will cry for her. that needs someone to tell her things are alright. that needs someone to accept her. that needs to hide things. that needs to take a breath. come here, i will be your world.
i’ll be there for you.
we'd meet in the swimming pool with blue-green square tiled walls and no water
every tuesday at 2am
and we'd lie down spreadeagled on the floor of the pool
wondering what it would feel like
if we were lying flat under 15,000 litres of water
and then you'd laugh
and i'd laugh too but only because you laughed
and i love the way your eyes crinkle
and you'd say that it's nice somehow
to dream about being trapped but actually being free
because you usually stay awake at night
thinking of things the other way round,
trying to run away from life
and i would say me too
and then we'd be still and silent for a little while
just being happy with eachother and forgetting about all there is to think and care about.
one day you pulled me closer
and i rolled to your side
and you pressed your mouth to my ear and whispered
my momma found out about us last tuesday
and she told me not to come here anymore
and this might probably be the last time we can be like this so
can i give you a kiss?
your kiss would be our very first and last kiss
that i had dreamt about for many nights
so i said yes, of course, i love you
and i wanted to close my eyes but i didn't because i had to see you.
it tasted like the cheap mint chewing gum
that you get from the corner store near your house
and that i would start to get
every friday onwards
because i never wanted to forget the taste of you.
and then we would stop staring into the night sky through the metal wire
chain-link fence beside the pool
and we'd climb out
and we'd hug because we were tired of waiting till tuesdays to hold eachother
and then we would start making our ways home,
out of the alley, you and i walking half of the highway
then splitting up down two smaller streets
then turning and turning farther away from where we remember seeing the other
until i wouldn't be able to chase after you and find you
even if i tried
because you'd be too far gone
and that's how things were.
that's how things were supposed to be.
i could never find you and you could never find me.
we could only ever find the street sign where our lives intersected
and trust in the other to be there too
and pretend for a night
that we would never lose eachother
and that we'd always be kids
and that we'd always live where we did
and that we could always come to this street sign at 2am on tuesdays when we needed a friend
and that our parents would never find out
and that we could hold eachother for as long as we ever wanted or needed to
and that we loved eachother
didn't we love eachother so, so much?
didn't our love transcend the two small worlds we each lived in?
wasn't our love an infinity
that would never, ever die?
#verylongpost #poetry #congratsifyougotthroughthat #sweetyounglovethatneverlasts
things i learnt too late
i. tomorrow is never promised
so don't leave anything unsaid
ii. tell your friends i love you
because who knows if you're the only one in their lives
that is willing to say that
iii. and goddammit everyone deserves to love
and be loved
at least once in their lifetime
1. forget about all the yourselfs you've lost in empty hotel rooms that nobody paid for,
forget they even existed.
you are the only yourself that the world will ever need.
2. if you wake up in the middle of a sleepless night
on the edge of your bed,
gun pressed to your head,
fingers clenching like the blinking stars of our hands
when we were five and sang twinkle twinkle little star,
know that i love you
and please remind yourself
which side of the gun
you should be on.
3. your arms around me
they always will be.
4. if you can feel a panic attack
please don't lock yourself in your room
and turn the music up
just a little bit
and check, frantically,
that the curtains are closed
and press your eyelids shut
as if they were hands pressed together in prayer.
breathe slowly and ground yourself:
find five different things you can see,
four things you can feel,
three things you can hear,
two things you can smell
and one thing you can taste.
take a deep breath with each thing you find.
5. i know it's never nice to lose yourself,
but sometimes it happens
so you can become stronger.
6. your favourite flower
is the yellow chrysanthemum.
7. you matter.
8. in the end,
you are your own hero.
you don't need wings
or a cape
or a wish
9. don't be scared.
10. i love you, i will always love you, i have always loved you. now and forever.
11. i'm sorry.
did you call her your sunflower
and in the creases of her skin
spell out love
like a liability,
the hum of two bodies pressed together
not knowing the name of the other,
with a taste like the word please
and thank you?
did you make her a bath
and drown her,
all of her,
and bruised hips
and wet hair
and broken heart
and pendulum eyes
did you soak your soal
and wash out the taste of her,
the colour she dyed your hands
and the woodwork of your bedroom,
that made you warm
on such a cold, stormy night?
when you set the room on fire,
was it you
or your love
that burnt down first?
she sits cross legged on the hotel bed
in the middle of a room for two.
she hasn't smiled for months;
her friends say she has forgotten
just how to.
it's unexpected, how difficult it is
to relearn something so
pull your lips back,
tilt your head,
bare your teeth.
(to a cruel world,
why should she?)
from the back-blue world outside her windowsill,
from the lies that her parents told her
the sky will always be baby blue,
like your eyes,
from what little light remains
you can see the rusted scissors in her left hand
and the jagged lines of wet, wavy hair
that fall into the creases of her lap
and catch on the ribbed indents
of her body.
she breathes in.
the shower is still running.
on the fogged glass,
as a dying testament
to the promise she made to her therapist
about self improvement,
(fake it 'till you make it,)
reads in her shaky handwriting
'i am okay.'
it still disappears, slowly.
whatever happened to being in the centre of the universe
and stopping the moon
and the stars
when she breathed in?
whatever happened to stopping the running of the world-
the mothers crying,
the people dying,
- so somebody could come save her first?
whatever happened to the superhero stories
her parents read her?
to their arms and warm embrace?
to her friends,
a shoulder to cry on?
to the promises made at childhood,
that you'll never be alone
because you'll have at least the moon
right by your side,
ready to catch you if you fall?
she cries, shoulders heaving.
there are dots in her eyes
that follow her around
until she thinks that they are cracks in her world
and that, behind all this life,
there are rainbows.
what's the harm
in a little running away?
she turns on the bedroom light
because that’s what her mother would do.
she is trying to help herself.
under a yellow electric light
spilling static into the air,
her scissors glint.
and so she falls in love
with tracing thin white lines,
it is cold and i stand on the verge of maybe,
feet curling over the edge.
before me lies the sea
and behind me stone.
before me it is dark and the waves move endlessly.
before me beckons,
because whether the fall kills me or not
i can trust in the water to bring me home.
before me is so wide and distant and alone;
i think it needs a friend.
behind me is the graveyard
where we used to talk through the night,
huddled in the wings of an angel statue-
when we were young
and didn’t yet know the name of fear.
behind me is my childhood,
the weathervane in the shape of a flying dove
that i painted when we were seven,
the braids i tied in your hair when we were eight,
the flower crown of wildflowers i made
when we were nine.
i’ve been here some five thousand times
and i’ve never been able to take the step.
make the jump.
leave the rock and stone behind
for the embrace of the water.
now it’s the last time and i look to the night sky.
all the things that i am stuck in-between –
the water, the rock,
my childhood, my possibilities –
they stare up into the same apologetic sky.
there are no stars,
maybe it has made space for me.
maybe it is waiting for me.
maybe it doesn’t care about the water or the rock.
maybe it won’t tell me how to love.
maybe it’ll teach me how to dream.
i step off the verge of maybe,
my arms reaching out as if to fly.
for a moment the air catches me with outstretched hands,
as if it was holding me
one last time.
then i fall
the water becomes my world entire.
it is cold and i feel infinite.
‘i will,’ she dreamt
and i'm spinning, arms grasping at the sky, body rocking forwards and backwards,
turning and turning
only because i don't know how to stop anymore.
i'm tired of dreaming with my eyes open.
they say god sits with his legs hanging out
of the hood of my car,
singing at the top of his lungs
as his toes dig lines into the asphalt road
like sticks in sand.
i say it's true
because the man that sits there
until it fills the sky each morning-
but it's only ever blue-
maybe god needs a friend.
so do i.
and now i'm running, a kid in the dark,
chased around a tree
by a shadow
and i can smell him
and he smells like flowers
people tell me:
you are young
so please enjoy it.
don't be reckless.
and i will, i will, i will,
i am spinning round myself,
i am a dying flame
and i will.
he doesn't know how to love
but he's been trying for twenty years.
it is a cold winter night and he sits, legs hanging out the window of his third-floor apartment room. what if this is the end? what if he slips off the ledge and breaks something and they find him, cheeks flushed, body splayed as if making snow angels on the hard grounds?
he sighs, retracting his arms and legs until he is perched on the windowsill. there is no space in his small world for another dead body. it will have to wait.
the apartment is rather big and his family lives there.
a father. a sister. him.
in the slow ticking of the two clocks, like an insufferable, mocking applause from an audience of one (may it be god), he finds his animus.
it becomes the reason he wakes.
the reason he eats.
the reason he sleeps.
the reason he dreams.
the reason he loves.
he walks to the kitchen and sets aside half of the takeaway for his father when he is sober. his sister is at a friend's house, living out her childhood. he begins to clean the house. is this called love?
upon finishing he sits down to eat by himself. palms pressed against each other, he says a prayer the way he was taught to since youth. he's since forgotten the name of the god he prays to. is this called love?
at two am he checks the kitchen to find the food gone. he stands outside on the balcony and makes five wishes, one for each friend he's ever lost, a sixth one for mother. is this called love?
he goes to sleep to a silent house.
is the faint blue empty space
behind his eyelids
where he loses himself
is nothing much.
won't fix his life-
but nobody's willing to tell him.
so he goes on, trying,
in a world that's long lost hope.