Wednesday 16 December 2015

pretend .

you covered me with burnt kisses —
with siren songs
waving your heart outside yourself
like a beacon
but it was just illusion —
smoke and lights and mirrors
aimed at those with simple minds
and i came running.
you tore me down
not all at once but in strips
thin as paint
one room at a time
until my body was made only of
the most basic elements —
nothing of substance
nothing to hold up to the light.

you seduced me with lips that tasted of
and words that sounded suspiciously like
my own
recited backwards.

· · ·

i only wish i had learned to speak firmly without
sounding mean
i wish i had taught myself the art of
in tension
and strength
in the sea of vulnerability you swept me into.

i only wish
you were everything i imagined
and i was the person i wrote as myself.

i wish
but we don't exist outside of the walls of what-might-have-been.
[don't listen to a word i've said
i've been crying bathtubs full
of crocodile tears since you left me.
trying to find the last shred of you
i lost somewhere inside these veins].

Sunday 6 December 2015

found .

Bernini 1979
Things are sweeter when they're lost. I know -- because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly, [...] and when I got it it turned to dust in my hand.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

Friday 18 September 2015

brown eyes .

you burned the inside of my eyelids —
flashes of
           the morning sun waking up
                                                       to stripe your back through the blinds,
                    water falling across mid-summer skin,
        lashes folding up so close i can feel the breeze,

and your eyes are not the colour of
                                          milked down chocolate
          or silt and soil
                                like you claim —

          they're cherry wood and honey
warm & light & deep & rich —
                        and they don't look away
                                     even when i can hardly breathe
                                                            under their heaviness.

and those eyes read me like a book
                       steady and linear
           one page to the next until you were done
                                                    and i had no more stories left to share.

but i read you like a poem
                        doubling back and again
                                              stuck and gasping
                     at one verse, one word, one jawline
                       how many ways one could interpret


Sunday 30 August 2015

the art of being destroyed .

i never thought we'd get here.

when it came to you and me
i had begun to believe that all we'd ever be is
two lost causes
staring across crooked timing with inaudible 'what ifs' awake on our tongues.

two broken-compassed travellers
who could never stay on the trail long enough to collapse under
the same night sky.
but now i see
that we are two stories about the same moment
that sound nothing the same
and yet are both true
and both beautiful.

i was a shipwreck and you were the ocean
and no matter where i went
i was always going to drown
and you were always going to swallow me whole.


Monday 27 July 2015

wreckage .

when he found me i was a pile of bones and embers and broken words
a kaleidoscope mess
who said yes to things that made me sad.

i let him tear out pieces of me and
wear them
i watched him parade them around like a trophy
that he had won —
movement of hand
and i found that when i went to
pull myself back into something i could recognize
i was missing some important bones
to stand on
to reach
to run.

i found my embers did not reignite
because he had stolen the ones
that still glowed
and left me the ashes.

and i found that the shards of words and promises
that once made up my soul
no longer fit together like they should
no longer held meaning —
pages of my favourite book ripped out and
tossed to the wind.

and i hated him
for a long time.

hated him for coming to me when i was weak
for taking what wasn't his
for sitting on my chest until i couldn't breathe anything but him.

but i have learned
that i still
can dance on broken bones,
that there are parts of me that will catch fire
even when i'm most numb,
that i was born with a pen at my fingertips
and i could re-write every last word that i lost
or i can leave the torn and crumpled papers where they are
and write a new part.


Monday 15 June 2015

tracks .

this house shakes when the train passes through town
and i've been sitting on my floor trying to feel it all. everything. 
waiting for something to finally give way
and send this old brick building falling
onto the nighttime traffic. the lovers, the brokenhearted, 
the people who believe in late-night apologies or ice cream runs. 

it isn't working.
my sensory neurons have all given out (it's about time)
my legs are too weak to walk to where you are
my mouth has forgotten how to say things like "i'm sorry" and "please take me back".

and i've been trying to see how this makes me feel
but all i can feel is the goddamn train.


an imprint of your hands on my neck
your lips on my waist.

and yet

i can't connect these marks on my skin 
with the way the blood pumps through my veins
can't make out a clear path between the places our skin met
and the place in my brain that knows how to feel and express and understand  
that knows, 
when it comes down to it, 
what it all meant.
what you meant.

and i've been thinking
that if i don't get some feeling back under my skin
i'll hitch a ride on the next train through town
and see where i go.

{Photo via: We Heart It}

Sunday 31 May 2015

poison .

i never trusted doctors or technicians
or warning labels on bottles and bottles of arsenic
never trusted your smile

you're a fool to love
but not to say it
because someone somewhere is bound to believe you
and maybe it feels good to make a fool out of someone else
for once
maybe it feels good to drink down
bottles and bottles of arsenic
and not believe the doctors and technicians when they say things like
"you are going to die"

because there's a thing called double jeopardy
and i can't kill twice the fool that already died
the first day i trusted your smile


Sunday 24 May 2015

listen .

something strange
in the way
her voice has a tone of purified anguish

it reminds me of a summer spent with you
at the edge of innocence
peering into the abyss of experience

that final kiss before the fall
how every summer since has held a sense of loss.

the girl's voice - sweet and heartbreaking
carries the same tune

maybe that's why you love her
why i can't look her in the eyes.


Monday 4 May 2015

my heart .

you died for real today, my ghost.

you've dropped into a pool of grief that has been building for some time and i'm not quite sure when the dam will break but the water is getting high.

when people ask who hurt me; who made me see the world differently and then left me alone to deal with the view, it was you. i don't tell them, but it was. you did it years ago and you did it today. you showed me how evil life can get, not out of cruelty and not to scare me, just to let me in.

i wish i showed you how far i let you in. you were allowed into places that no one else has come close to touching. i let you in without knowing, yet, that it is from the inside that a heart can be damaged.

i loved you first and i loved you deep.

deeper than i ever let you know and i'm sorry for that — but there are some places even words can't touch, and you lived there. you still do.

you fought and slayed your share of demons, Ben. i hope you've found the rest you always deserved.

love forever,


Thursday 19 March 2015

nowadays .

The Civil Wars
And I think now that this
is what we are to each other,
friends busy with their own distance
who reappear now and then alongside.

by Michael Ondaatje

Thursday 8 January 2015

hollow .

it's hard to believe (no it isn't) how easily I fit back into your hand.
how our voices dance back and forth again -
as if the choreography never stopped (i'm not sure it did).
our months of silence melting into the last time i saw you
until there was no silence, only a desperate goodbye to hello-again
one after the other.

your presence somehow cancelling out
everything that came between:
the chill of winter seeping into spring, summer, fall,
the bitterness that bled into my bones,
the side of the bed that i named loneliness (after you).

there are some things that i know in life (things that you taught me):
i know that though we work in theory
we will never work in practice
i know the clock is never on our side
i know the way the world ends is not with a bang but a whimper
(eliot warned but you showed).

but for just one day - today - lets pretend that all it takes for us to be
is what we are in this moment
that the force driving us together is stronger than all else
tomorrow we can put miles between our sea salt lips
and forget our dance for silence
but today lets say the world is what we've asked it to be
since the beginning (a place safe enough for both our hearts).