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?

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?

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.

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?

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.

Apologies that just aren’t coming

I’m sorry
I wasn’t there for you
I’m sorry
my absence
taught you that love is universally unreliable.

I’m sorry
I ridiculed you, publicly
for something that could
never have been your fault.

I’m sorry
I didn’t tell you about your Grandma
who could’ve given you some answers
before it was too late for you, too.

&

I’m sorry
for what I did
what you saw
I’m sorry
for what you cannot unsee.

I’m sorry
I treated your love as disposable
when it was actually irreplaceable.
I’m sorry
I took your kindness and forgiveness for granted.

&

I’m sorry
I let you believe I loved you
unconditionally
I’m sorry
I didn’t recognise
you were just my summer girl.

I’m sorry
I treated you like a getaway car
and only loved the good bits of you.
I’m sorry
I let you let your guard down again.

I’m sorry
I lied through my teeth when I said we had a future.
I’m sorry
I took the sweet ripe fruit of your heart
and pulverized it for all it was worth.

I’m sorry
I let you down.

Do you forgive me?

(No.)

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.