you.

When I lay down at night,
sometimes I can still feel
hands on my body –
not the gentle touch of a lover
but the harsh pain of
you.

In the days and weeks
and months after
you
first raped me
I boiled myself
and scrubbed myself raw
in baths and showers
until my skin was red and blistering
to try and wash away the feeling.

I wanted to peel every last inch
of flesh off my bones,
so everything could grow back fresh
and I could pretend
to have a body that
you
had never laid hands on.

I tried to replace
the memories of touch
with other peoples’ hands
but it never helped
because after so long,
they all just blur into one
and they all start to look like
you.

I hate that
you
still have
such power over me.
I will make myself anew,
and try my best
to leave
you
with this shell.

– for my abuser, you sack of shit

inappropriate jokes

“You don’t look well –
are you coming down with something?”

“Yeah, it’s called
cancer!”

My words come out as a laugh
accompanied by a smile,
but for whatever reason
I did not anticipate your reaction;
your face drops,
the sparkle in your eyes
replaced with pity
or sympathy
or concern
or some other emotion
that I do not want to see right now.

I know your next words
will be laced with aspartame,
clogging up my airways and
choking me with sweetness
and contrary to the expression,
if you only have nice things to say
I would much prefer it
if you didn’t say anything at all.

“You’re so brave!”

“If you need anything…”

“I don’t understand how you’re still going,
I would just give up.”

I am trying to keep my spirits up
as I claw my way out of this pit
that is filled with endless void
and it grabs at my ankles
and tries to pull me back under
and suffocate me.

I do not need pity,
I need you to laugh with me.

an apology to those I accidentally made uncomfortable but for the love of heck please just roast me

katy

The day I met you,
it was like an arrow
pierced my soul
and tattooed my heart.
You are my kindred spirit,
my partner-in-crime,
the other part of me
that I didn’t know was missing
and I now cannot live without.
The day I met you,
the sun exploded through the clouds
and the flowers bloomed in celebration
and the world became full of colour
and it felt like I was
finally coming home.
The instant connection
made me feel like
I have known you
for a thousand lifetimes already
and yet somehow
I still look forward to
being with you
in this one.

– for Katy, the other pea in my pod

I said maybeeee……

Maybe I build my hopes up
too high and too fast.
Maybe I tend to blow things up
completely out of proportion.
Maybe I create whole fantasy worlds
in my head
so everything can go the way I want.

Maybe the real world is not that kind
and nothing ever goes to plan.

Maybe I am stupid and naïve
to keep loving so freely
when I’ve been hurt so many times
but I will keep loving
and I will keep hoping
and I will keep dreaming
and maybe
everything will be good
this time.

for Ruth, who keeps me full of hope

rosalind

When I first saw you,
I thought that you were candlelight –
warm and soft and inviting.

When I first learned your name,
I thought it was beautiful –
declared by the angels themselves.

As I got to know you better,
I thought you were ivy –
hardy and evergreen as you grew in my heart.

Now you are my friend,
and I know that
you are more than candlelight –
you are wildfire, passionate and devastating.
You are more than the angels –
you are heaven personified.
You are more than ivy –
you are Mother Earth and all her wonders.

I know that you are the sun, the moon,
I know that you are all of the stars,
I know that you are everything.

– for one of my best friends, Rosie

the fire triangle

If I am wildfire,
you are oxygen
you are fuel.

With you, I grow until
I am powerful
I am unstoppable
I am devastating.

I burn for you.
I will burn for you.
I will burn everything to the ground – for you.

I am reckless, dangerous, uncontrollable, all consuming
and yet without you, I am nothing.

– for those who let me burn