Too easy

I think I’ve been too easy on you,
giving you credit where credit wasn’t due.
Saying you’re a good man deep down, and wishing you well,
but all of this niceness hurts me too.

Protecting your ego, your status, your pride,
even though the part of “you” that was “us” had died,
I still felt indebted to you, like I owed you something,
only to sacrifice my own peace of mind.

Our love was an empty house, and I was still haunting the halls,
singing your praises to the pictures on the walls,
thinking the problem, the hassle, the nuisance was me, when actually
forgiving you was my only downfall.

When you broke my heart I should’ve thanked you for it.
Instead I watched you watch in slow motion as it split,
with my head in my hands and tears streaked down my face.
I shouldn’t have stood for all your bullshit.

You had me on my knees,
and I was begging, pleading “please
don’t let this be the last of us, not here, not now”
but I am so grateful you didn’t agree.

So maybe I should thank you,
in the end, for what you put me through.
You raised all hell and pulled the earth out from under me.
But who knew a break up, could also be
a breakthrough?

You.

Your smile is a work of art.
But not one that I could hang above my fireplace.
No, one of incomprehensible beauty
that I could only admire from a distance
in some hipster gallery in Soho
and only dream of owning.

Your eyes hold constellations in their sparkles.
Though not ones that I could easily pick out of any night sky.
No, yours are from a whole different galaxy,
awe-inspiring yet untouchable,
ones that only exist for the privileges of NASA’s finest telescopes.

Your body is an ocean.
One so deep and enchanting,
that the idea of swimming in you is overwhelming.
For now, I will just paddle my toes in your warm, clear blue shores,
and allow your gentle waves to wash over me in indelible silence.

Your lips tell soft stories,
weave words out of thin air.
But not any that I could write down, or dare to repeat.
For their beauty is ephemeral, evanescent
in their nature
and my amateur tongue could not do them justice.

You are
all at once
magnificent and all-consuming.
Yet somehow,
still mine.

grown up.

I’ve watched my Dad being stretchered downstairs,
after hearing my Mum trying to resuscitate him on the bedroom floor.
Am I a grown up yet?

I’ve found the contents of my then boyfriend’s laptop,
which I later discovered,
when talking to the police,
would’ve landed him on a register for at least five years.
And I didn’t say a word for over a decade.
Am I a grown up yet?

I’ve scrubbed my sister’s blood from her bedroom carpet,
her bedsheets,
her clothes,
after driving an hour to take her to A&E.
Am I a grown up yet?

I travelled across continents trying to find escape,
but ended up being heartbroken at the hands of the one man I thought I could trust.
Am I a grown up yet?

I travelled back alone.
Never how it was supposed to be.
And had to pick myself up from zero.
I had nothing.
Am I a grown up yet?

I’ve had friends confess their suicide plans to me,
and have had to talk them out of it.
Am I a grown up yet?

I have a stable job,
yet feel completely replaceable.
No one would notice if I wasn’t there anymore.
Am I a grown up yet?

Every day I wonder how many days I have left with my loved ones.
I picture their deaths in vivid detail.

Is this what it means to be an adult?
Am I a grown up yet?

roses

You said that you were scared of roses
And I think I said I was too.
You said they were prettier than you,
but I said I don’t think that’s true.

I think you have been misguided
I think you have been misled
If you’d see you the way that I did,
If only you could see into my head.

You said the night sky it scared you,
but not because of the dark.
But because your eyes would never
sparkle like those shining stars

I think you have been misguided
I think you have been misled
If you’d see you the way that I did,
If only you could see into my head.

You said the open water scares you,
because what if you never felt that deep?
I said sometimes you’ve gotta swim out
into the vast expanse of sea.

And what if you were always right?
What if roses they were prettier,
and the stars they shined so bright?
Well, in that case I have been misguided,
and I have been misled,
because there’s nothing of more beauty to me
than what’s inside your head.

good enough

That time when I failed an exam, by two marks.
No hug or celebrations or cards,
just the disappointed look on my father’s face.

The times I’d catch my boyfriend looking at other women that way,
I’d wonder, how can I make sure he doesn’t leave me? How can I make him stay?
Make myself thinner?
Okay.

That time when my mental health hit an all time low,
and I was broken up with on top of that, perfect timing,
just to soften the blow.

All the times I was left at empty tables in the school dining hall,
no amount of friends at 30 will ever fill that hole.

That time when there was a group chat, for everyone, except me.
That’s happened a fair few times actually.

The times (years) I spent suffering from OCD
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3.
And wasting my parents’ time and energy.
Being ridiculed every morning for my crying, panic-driven, nightmares and screams,
the night before.

That time he cheated on me for six months,
yet told me he missed me
before calling it off.
To then parade her around in front of me like a trophy.

Every time I look in the mirror and think
“You used to be thinner, prettier. You’ve let yourself go,
and you can try but you’ll never look that good again though”.

Every morning when I wake up and recount,
all the ways I’ve let the people I love down.

it’s her i love

I love the sounds of her voice over video call, when we’re both close to falling asleep on opposite ends of the line, but neither of us want to hang up just yet.

I loved that first day, when she got into my car at the train station, and I kissed her, and it was perfect.

I love making her laugh, an inappropriate joke or a silly face, the chorus of it echoing through my ears.

I love it when she says “I know how you feel” and “I understand”, and I know she means it.

I love the way she knows what I’m about to say, before I’ve even opened my mouth, just from the look on my face.

I love that in a room full of crowded people, our eyes will still find each other’s.

I love the way she holds my hand under the duvet as we’re falling asleep, like the way otters do.

I love the way her body feels pressed against mine. Skin on skin, and nose to nose; it feels like everything is falling into place.

I love the way she makes me feel safe; I forget about my worries, and the rest of the world fades away.

I love that she sees something in me worth fighting for, when I can’t see it myself.

I love her soft lips against mine; I could get lost in those kisses for days.

I love that when I feel like I’m falling apart, she shows me how to put my pieces back together again.

I love our story, how it all began, and all the adventures we’ve had, and are still yet to have.

I love that she calls me her future.

Because she’s mine.

It’s her who I love.

the love you choose

My eyes burn from the tears I’m not crying
because I swore
I wouldn’t let what you did
hurt me anymore.

My hands are balled into fists
that won’t punch any walls.
The cracks in my heart not longer reflected
in brickwork
or frames of doors.

My mouth is pursed,
from words I’ll no longer let myself say.
I won’t pay any more lip service
to all the hell you raised.

But my heart remains open,
though still slightly bruised,
to accept the love from another,
and this time, it’s a love I choose.

road map.

I have been broken before.
Broken into so many pieces
I may as well have been
dust
on the floor.

Not the pretty “fill it with gold”
kind of broken either.
The ugly crying on the bathroom floor
in the cold,
kind of broken.

And not just once either. Numerous times.
Sometimes just a hairline fracture.
Sometimes nothing more than a bruised ego.
But sometimes, my heart completely ruptured.

And how do you recover?
Still put one foot in front of the other?
I have no answers,
But I know that I did it.

Some people might say,
my heart is still broken,
if I still write these words.

But I say,
the cracks left in my heart
were nothing short of a road map
that led me
to her.

i’m trying

Your water is still by my bed,
your pajamas still under my pillow.
And that’s how I like it,
even though you’re gone for the moment, and it hurts,
I like the reminders you leave behind.

Which is why I am so sorry
to have ever put you through
the idea
of me not being here.

For the nights where I couldn’t see a way forward,
and I thought there was only one solution –
pills, a blade and a bath.
That was selfish of me.

Because although I still have your glass of water
and your pajamas,
and it pains me that you’re gone for now,
that’s just it – it’s just for now.

What would I have left you with?
A handful of badly written poems
some polaroids,
maybe that piece of paper with
“i love you”
scrawled on in lipstick from a drunken night out.

And that would’ve been it.
And I am so sorry that I was selfish to believe
that that would’ve been
enough for you.

But I promise you, I’m trying.
I’ll write you more poems.
I’ll be there with you under the covers,
and I won’t leave you
with a cold side of the bed.

I’m trying.

Lost at sea

I’m lost at sea and don’t know where to find me.
Thought I’d moved on and left it all behind me.
But it creeps up on me in the night,
Not out of mind or out of sight.
It still hits me like a train and still blindsides me.

When do you know that part of you is dead and gone for good?
I’m stumbling, can’t find my feet, nor see the trees for wood.
Will it be hours or months or days?
I have no idea who gets to say.
But right now it feels like it’s still crawling, swimming through my blood.

And when will it stop?
How will I know?
When I thought I’d reached the top of everything that I had ever known.
When can I breathe?
Or let go and scream?
When will this feeling go?
And how will I know?

Sometimes I feel I’ve taken two steps forward and three back.
It’s hard to feel like I am safe when I’m running off the tracks.
What’s next for me – promethazine?
To quell the nausea slowly killing me.
So I’ll keep avoiding manhole covers and all the pavement cracks.

I’ve reached the point I no longer have the patience.
To be polite and maybe not just say this –
You fucked me up, yes you with the beard,
You led me on for all those years.
But is it me that’s left to blame for my complacence?

And when will it stop?
How will I know?
When I thought I’d reached the top of everything that I had ever known.
When can I breathe?
Or let go and scream?
When will this feeling go?
And how will I know?