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)

soft / bruises

love bites.
the bruises are lingering
on my chest, my hips, my back
a reminder, of candlelight dwindling
and silk ties
and too much pink wine.

but there are bruises still
on my self-esteem
on my heart
deep in my soul
and love’s keen sting
has left its indefinite mark.

does this mean i’ve remained soft, like i wanted,
through this tempest?
not hardened
still easy to bruise and still tender?

we both sidestep 3 consecutive manhole covers
wish on eyelashes
wish on 11:11
cross our fingers and pinky swear, we’re lovers
and love bites, but
is this it?
and am i finally doing it right?

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.

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.

A toast

On our final night together
in a little Italian restaurant we’d made our favourite,
we raised our glasses
and said
“to us”.

Just those two words.
That’s all either of us could manage
without crying in public.

But what we didn’t say was this;

To us.
To all that we were.
To all we could’ve been.
To every time we made each other laugh,
and to sweet Nepali tea.

To every cycling holiday
To all the memories we made,
To every happy polaroid
I pray that time won’t fade.

To every “I love you”
To every stolen glance,
to every morning coffee in bed, every debrief cup of tea,
and to every ceilidh dance.

To every adventure that we’ve had,
to every argument we’d right,
to every sweet guitar melody,
and to putting the world to order, late into the night.

To every birthday we made special,
to each and every kiss,
to every mistake we made,
it all came down to this.

So I hope you still remember us,
before we said adieu,
thanks for all the memories,
“to us, to me and to you”.

x

the silence & the sound

Empty.
Clean.
White.
Silence never sounds like it’s supposed to.

Silence is an echo chamber
of words unspoken,
and anxieties welling up to the surface.
Bubbling, bursting through the millpond of the mind.

Silence is an empty dancefloor
once the music has been turned off
and everyone has left
except you.
You’re left with the ringing in your ears, and a scratching in your throat
from screaming to be heard over that
deafening
silence.

Silence is an empty railway tunnel.
Gaping and anticipating
the next train of thought, coming along
bulldozing it’s way through the temporary vacancy between your ears.

Silence is a forest,
full of moss-covered rocks just waiting to be overturned.
Patches of fog hang despondently between the listless branches
Don’t peer too close, you might scare yourself
with the weight of all the things you do not know
that lie in the gloaming.

Silence is the gap between the thunderclaps.
That is all.
The rain it still pours.
And the echo of the last distance rumble
tumbles around your hollow head.

Silence is the torchlight of the interrogation.
Why weren’t you good enough?
When did it all go wrong?
Why are you like this?
Why can’t you just move on?

The silence
it never stops.