That thing that I don’t talk about, but need to talk about, even though I won’t say what it was.

You know…

the night when…
that happened…

You know, the thing I don’t talk about?

When that thing that happened to me…
happened

You know? The one with my old gym coach…

I don’t call it by it’s name.

That night when I was shaking and powerless…

That night, back in that phase of my life.

And you know it bothers me still…

because now I think he’s getting married to…

the girl he said he was over, the night that that happened.

The girl who was my best friend at the time.

I want to go up to her, ask her…

“If a woman says no

twice

and a man continues anyway…

what does that sound like to you?”

Okay, good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

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.

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.

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.

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?

.

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)
.

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.

fairweather

Your not texting back,
was a stab to the heart.
But you were drinking cold liquor, with new friends
so you didn’t see that part.
You were already planning how our story would end.

In our story, from my side, we had endless pages.
But I guess you were just filling in the blanks,
until you thought you could escape this
and it came as a suckerpunch when I realised you’d pulled a Shawshank.

Too cowardly to tell me the truth,
that you lied when you said we had the rest of our lives together.
You kept me, like Dogtooth,
hidden from reality.
You were nothing more than a boyfriend for fairweather.

And when the storms rolled in,
and the thunderclaps boomed,
things headed the way they’d always been,
and you ran scared into the other room.

Away from my crying eyes
and into the arms of another.
Out of sight, out of mind,
safely beneath the skin of a different woman to hide under.

Someone sweeter,
someone breezier,
someone who wouldn’t call you a cheater.
A fairweather girlfriend,
and altogether
easier.