the things you got away with

CTRL + H
reveals an awful lot.
oh, how i wish i’d known.
what to do.
but at 18,
who does?

i’ve done my research now.
five years on a register, minimum.
but you took more than just my innocence that night,
held it captive to a loaded gun
locked and ready, with screams of
“you are not good enough”
“you are the one who’s not right”

got away with your dignity and reputation too.
and where was mine?
left in tattered pieces, torn polaroids
of what used to be
me and you.

you left with no idea of what damage you’d inflicted
and i’m still 18
and sat on your bed in the dark,
still staring at the screen.
10 years on.
but it’s not too late to have you convicted.
not yet.

you think you’ve got away with what you’ve done,
what you did,
what you excused away.
but i still remember that night
and the next day.

returning home to uni halls
broken, grey, defeated.
not telling a soul
well, not until recently,
anyway.

so how much did you really get away with?

the things that haunt me still

a phone blinking in gloomy bedroom lights
a google search history, and a site
for sore eyes

that morning where the coffee i made him went cold
when i told him to go
and another morning
where he said he didn’t want coffee at all
and i broke down crying; this isn’t a discussion anymore

holding his hair back whilst he was sick
after taking too many drugs, again
the smell of cigarettes on his mouth
and his lips
dripping
with lies

guitar melodies that used to be just for my ears
well i guess she hears
them now too

and a gut feeling,
that i knew it was all wrong
for a long time
but i still clung on

until

fingertips leaving reluctant fingertips
in the departure gate
turning back one final time to watch him go
and with each step,
sealed our fates

his to move on.
like him before.
and for me to remain.
within the lonely tales of folklore.

closure

Today I found an old letter from you.
A letter from you.
Wishing me well.
“I hope this finds you well”
Sending me my stuff from Thailand that I’d left.
That it’d only taken you more than 6 months to get around to doing.
But you’ve “been busy”.

God.
It was almost like one of those round robin Christmas cards.
“I’m doing so well”
“I’ve been so busy socialising”
“I’m truly living my best life”

You even had the audacity to sign off
“love from”.

Well, fuck you.

a warning

oh, he’ll be there
for the good times
for the falling in love
over a bottle of red wine times

for the holding hands in the woods
and for the wishing on should
we, be
an eternity, a whole,
two bodies, but one soul

oh, he’ll be there

but not for when things turn sour
when minutes feel like hours
across the dining table
the candle light a token gesture
and not a word has been spoken yet

empty promises of, i’ll never leave you
but he won’t be there when it’s needed
punching, kicking, scratching, screaming
he won’t be there when the tears come streaming

he was there for the good version of you
on your best behaviour, you
for the confident, happy, exciting you
but when reality came, like an awesome wave
he couldn’t see it through

after all, i’ve come to learn, i was nothing more than a getaway car
that drove too fast
and eventually took us both tumbling
off the path

yes, i am talking to you.

you unbuckled your seatbelt and leapt
from the impending wreckage
and you ran
without a second glance over your shoulder
to see the flames
that you’d left.

(he won’t be there)

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?

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.

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.