soft / bruises

love bites.
the bruises are lingering
on my chest, my hips, my back
a reminder, of candlelight dwindling
and silk ties
and too much pink wine.

but there are bruises still
on my self-esteem
on my heart
deep in my soul
and love’s keen sting
has left its indefinite mark.

does this mean i’ve remained soft, like i wanted,
through this tempest?
not hardened
still easy to bruise and still tender?

we both sidestep 3 consecutive manhole covers
wish on eyelashes
wish on 11:11
cross our fingers and pinky swear, we’re lovers
and love bites, but
is this it?
and am i finally doing it right?

scared

How can I possibly be scared?

I’ve run out of “scared”.
I’ve done all of the scariest things already.
Saying goodbye to you at the airport.
Leaving you for good.
Even though every fibre of my being didn’t want to let go of you.
Didn’t want to turn around and see you for the final time.
Boarding that plane.
And leaving Thailand, alone.
That was terrifying.

Leaving behind all I knew.
All that I loved.
Everything that I was sure about.
Knowing in that split second that our hands let go of each other, that I’d never hold your hand again.
Never have you to turn to again.
Never share our bed again.
That was terrifying.

That felt like having the earth pulled from beneath me, and realising I didn’t have a parachute anymore.
That was scary.

I came home alone.
Never the way it was meant to be.
But I had to.
There was no other way forward.
And it felt like having my heart broken twice.
That was truly scary.

Surely I’ve ran out of things to be scared of? Surely there’s nothing more to be afraid of, when you already feel like you’ve had it all taken from you?

4. Hold up.

I wrote this a few months back

Tomorrow should be our 4 year anniversary.
Four years since that night we lay on my bed,
hands barely touching,
baring all.

Hold up.

Maybe I should reframe this. That’s what a therapist would do.

Four years since you cheated on your girlfriend of the time.
Four years since you were weak.
That kiss was you being weak.
Not owning up to how you truly felt about your then relationship, and instead letting it blow up.

Four years since you broke someone else’s heart.
I really hope she’s moved on now and has found someone who will show her more respect than you did.
I hope she’s happier now.
I hope tomorrow passes without her even thinking of you, because she’s managed to put it all behind her.

You were a coward. You still are.
You shy away from all emotions until it reaches breaking point and then you let it all blow up.
Without any warning.
I bet she didn’t see it coming either.
The way I didn’t.

You did exactly the same to me as you did to her.
You didn’t speak about your feelings, you actively lied about them, and then you threw a curveball out of nowhere.
Poor her. Poor me. Who’s next?

Was I always just a getaway car for you?
Was the magic exactly that – just an illusion?
A trick of the light,
sleight of hand.

I always look back on 13th January 2017 with such fondness – because I thought it was the start of something really special.

Maybe it’s time to take off the rose-tinted glasses?

let me down

in the beginning, there was a time
when we were the talk of the town
a twisted love affair
but, in the end, you let me down

our days filled with conversation
i wore our love like a crown
our nights filled with tenderness
and still, you let me down.

there were months when you
were the only person i wanted to be around
my knight in a plaid shirt and slippers
and yet, you let me down

the cracks began to show
the crown fell to the ground
and you didn’t want to be there to help pick up the pieces,
that’s how you let me down.

and now i look back and i’m angry
that i turned my life upside down
all in the name of what i thought was “love”
and then you went and let me down

was i not worth fixing?
was i worth leaving to drown?
in the blackened waters of my mind?
was it easier to let me down?

i ask because you did it so easily
maybe you were on a huge comedown
of the idea of me
not the reality of me
and that’s how you let me down

what was once our palace
soon became a ghost town
but i will rise up from these ashes
and i won’t let myself down.

h e l p

a profound loneliness
and chronic emptiness
a sinking feeling in your stomach
waiting for the drop
a heaviness in your chest
but of what?

an outline of a person
no one’s coloured in between the lines
hollow
every movement feels like effort
and is painfully slow

who do you turn to in these maddening times,
but to a face on a screen?
it’s no replacement for human contact
resisting the urge to desperately scream…

CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?
I AM ALONE
AND IF I WASN’T HERE
WOULD ANYBODY KNOW?

pour the whisky, pour the wine, I’m hollow anyway.

little life update

Things got very dark for me in the six months since I returned from living abroad.

I’m coming out the other side now.

I read back through the poems/pieces I wrote back then, and I feel like I’ve put some distance between how I was then, and how I feel now.

I’m healing. Slowly. But slow progress is still progress.

And I don’t want to delete those poems either. Because my feelings were valid at the time. And still are valid now.

But I’m doing better.

Touch wood. Because I still have OCD, don’t I?

(And for any of you wondering, love exists after heart break. And it’s even sweeter for it.)

interstitial love

interstitial.
the spaces in between.
the pauses in conversation when
we catch each other’s eye
and our breath
and we each know what that look means.

my hands, i now see
like pieces of a jigsaw
where i know the spaces between my fingers
would fit perfectly
with yours.

the gaps between messages at 1am
i’ll stay awake for in this silence
to see “typing” followed by three dots…
in this deafening storm, you’re an island.

i may have many broken pieces
but without those shattered parts
where would this interstitial love grow,
but within the cracks of a mending heart?

where are you?

i’m anxious about my new job.
and where are you?

i’m crying because my anxiety has become so overwhelming that i don’t think i can go on anymore.
and where are you?

i’m questioning all the life choices that led me here, wondering at which turn it all went south.
and where are you?

i’m looking for a hand to hold beneath the sheets at night, when terrors wake me.
and where are you?

i’m searching a sea of strange faces for your familiar gaze that feels like coming home.
and where are you?

i’m looking for reassurance that i’ll be okay on monday; i’m looking for your support.
but where are you?

where are you now?
seven hours ahead.
almost 6000 miles away.
i left you.
on a different continent.

but how i wish things were different.
how i wish i’d never had to leave.

i’m so resistant to the idea of monday because it means that i’m definitely moving on with my life. it’s the next big hurdle.

and you won’t be there.
beside me. telling me everything’s going to be okay and
squeezing my hand.

it’ll just be me.
by myself.

and who am i?

chapters

i thumb through the pages of our old life.
stopping
on the pages
where i’ve folded over the top corner.
to revisit those memories again.

nepal.
towersey.
ten y fan.
non-descript evenings spent listening to music, drinking red wine and putting the world to rights.

but i can’t keep doing it.
romanticising the past.
religiously reading back over the pages of the life we once shared.
once loved.
those chapters are closed now. i know.
and i need to move on. i know.

the more i thumb through the old passages
the more
blurry
the words become;
i’m misremembering them.

it’s like rubbing salt into a wound
that i was tending to
and slowly
healing.
it’s like ripping it at the careful,
methodical,
heart-broken
stitches
and leaving it
open again.
ugly and gaping.

i know, i should pick up the pen and start writing
new chapters,
for my new life now,
without him.
not defined by him.
or anyone else.
but defined by me.
i choose the narrative.

i should grab that pen and start writing immediately.
but my hands drift back to the old chapters.
the familiarity.
the warmth of an old flame.

I feel like,
what’s the point in continuing writing,
when your best work is already written?

when you’ve already peaked?

heartfelt deception

i feel like i’m starting to move on,
slowly.
i don’t want to jump the gun.

but i think of you less.
and when i do it doesn’t hurt so much,
or send palpitations into my chest.

i see a picture of you now on facebook,
and i think the rose tinted glasses have been lifted, ever so slightly.
and instead i see a fully grown man
who still hasn’t learnt to be open with his emotions, and show sincerity.

and isn’t that sad?
that 4 years on you still handle your emotions the way you did with your ex, before me.
bury your feelings and hide from them,
until it reaches boiling point,
and it all gets thrown out to sea.

the pain in my chest has lifted,
ever so marginally.
that’s progress
and i’ll take that
gratefully.

because it’s taken a long six months to get here,
and i’m not even half way there yet,
not even close, nowhere near.

but i’ve put my foot on the path in the right direction,
and i feel like i’ve made a decision,
to get over,
move on from
such heartfelt deception.