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 heat 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.

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?

What if

What if one of us died,
And I never got the chance to tell you
I love you
Just one last time?

What if one of us died,
And the last thing we spoke about was
What we were having for dinner?

What if one of us died
And we never had the time
For one more hand hold?
Or one more hug?

What if one of us died
And I hadn’t told you how sorry I was
For every time I made you cry
And wasn’t there to hold you to make it all better?

What if one of us died,
And you didn’t know,
That sometimes you were my only reason for living?

What if one of us died,
Just peacefully in our sleep,
And the last thing the other would have to remember us by
Was the last good night text?

Well here’s my chance:
You’re it for me.
The end to all my endings,
My queen in shining vans.
I’m sorry for all the upset I’ve ever caused,
And I hope you can forgive me.
Because if we have forever together, I’m yours if you’ll have me?

What if one of us died tomorrow and our love story ended at 550 days?
Well it would never end there for me,
You are a piece of me now and I’d carry you, the way I’d hope you’d carry me,
Into our next little infinity.

this is how we learn.

You’ll teach me how to skip stones on the ocean,
And I’ll teach you how to dance on the sand.

You’ll teach my heart to thaw what was once frozen,
And I’ll show you how to say words with your hands.

I’ll teach you ukulele, sat cross-legged on my bed,
And you’ll teach me how to cook, the way your Ba does it.

You’ll teach me not to listen to the horrible thoughts in my head,
and I’ll teach you about the Himalayas and the height of each summit.

We’ll both teach each other, what it means to feel free,
From judgment, from doubt, from the stares of onlookers.

We’ll learn from each other’s bodies as we tangle the bedsheets,
and soon we won’t care about the words spoken by others.

You’ve taught me more in these 549 days
than I could’ve ever learnt from a textbook or teacher.

That’s what I mean, when I hold your hands and your gaze,
And tell you, your beauty to me is your least important feature.

why are you still crying?

I want to know
is it okay
to still feel this way
after all these years?

When I let go of your hand
at the terminal
oh I knew
that would be the last time
I ever saw you.

And it’s like part of me has died,
like you took the good parts of me with you
when you left
and left me with the messy bits,
the broken bits,
the parts-that-nobody-wants bits.

Oh it still hurts
because you cut me so deep
to parts of me I thought were healed
parts of me I thought were untouchable.

You promised me the world with one hand
and snatched the earth from under my feet
with the other
the very next morning.

And I’m not crying because you broke my heart,
I’ve cried myself dry over that.
I’m crying because
when I left you at the airport
I knew I was leaving part of me too.

I’m crying because
your actions and your words
shrunk me down to a half
no, a third
of who I used to be.

You walked all over me
and got away scott free.

So when I grieve now
It’s no longer for you
but for the old me
rest in peace.

.

I thought you were my full stop.
The ending.
To all my heartbreaks.
To all my upset.
To all my frogs not princes.
To my unhappiness.

It turns out I was just a comma to you,
a clause,
a throwaway line in your explanation,
of your mistakes.

maybe I’m not even that to you anymore.
maybe I’m actually (in brackets)
.

the little things

It’s the little things
like
the lipgloss you bought me
because you know I love sparkles
and how you say you still love me
when I’m at my darkest.

Like
it’s 3am and we find each others’ hands under the duvet
how you’ll kiss me in public
and we won’t care what who says.

Like
it’s the texts that say
“I want you forever”
not that I know what that means any more.
Trust me, I’m not that clever.

But if forever means
that you’re my last kiss
my last hand hold
my last wish

Then all these little things will have meant something deep
when for the last time
you’re the one who tucks me in
for one last sleep.

X

slow motion

I think it’s slowly hitting me
not in the way a wave hits you
washing over you
rushing up to meet your skin.
An old friend.

No, not like that.

I think it’s slowly hitting me
the way an HGV would
slowly
hit
you.
All of a sudden.
And in slow motion
at the same time.

I’ve been anticipating this impact
for so long now.
Bracing myself, muscles tensed,
that I almost don’t believe it’s over.

That I can relax now
drop my shoulders
unclench my jaw
let go.

Yesterday,
when I eventually put the phone down,
I could finally
pick myself back up
from where I left myself.

Those 11 years ago.

2020

I would prize Wildwood Kin, from your little sweaty palms,
I would eat more healthily,
I would dance more often,
and refuse to let you talk over me.

I would shake my former self
look her straight into the eyes
and say, is this what you think you’ve been searching for
all your goddamn life?

I would remove those tinted glasses
and see you for what you are,
an emotionally-stunted man-child
who just happens to play guitar.

I’d take you off your pedestal,
where you’d comfortably made your nest.
I’d tell you truths like, I’m not sure I want to have biological children
and bathe in the disgust your face expressed.

I’d stop hiding my truth to please you,
unafraid of causing upset
confidently proclaim my moral views
and calmly watch you sweat.

I’d grab my former self,
lace up my running shoes,
take her by the hand
and run far away from you.