Updated: Sep 11, 2022
in basement chatter, an inebriated daze,
i feel the pangs of her kicking inside.
i tell me she’s dead.
i killed her.
swatted out a miracle.
snuffed out the light in my eyes on the way back home
from disco lights. clutching keys and
pretending to call my best friend
when mine was asleep
and i only wish
to cry about
better than being with You.
i’ll convince myself this fear is better than being
with You. kissing you. grasping you.
letting the bitterness run
down my tongue like
warm whiskey chasing away the cold with
the blue plaid shirt motions that is
You: a lifeguard at sea who once
took my hand into his own
and then dropped it
and drove on
and left me simmering, stranded, in that second-hand smoke.
i took two trains to falkirk just to keep me afloat.
shifting platform to platform through that two week wait.
weighing up abortion,
letting tears scar my face. flash to
two cocktail nights to forget what you’d done,
a pub crawl, a PCR, another ellaOne,
a night of surrender, a lamp-lighten kiss,
a tender hug before the hunger —
quick relief I know I’d miss.
the taste of you is a drug that kills to keep.
brain fog, daisy dresses.
chase summer’s heat.
for you to be here, now october,
beer embroidered in your sleeves.
i’m waiting, high on codeine under sheets
you bought for me,
my white ones,
but it’s pneumonia season now and
time is spinning faster - a god complex held
to my skull. love once golden
i tell me she’s dead.
i killed her,
swatted out a miracle
but she trickles down the back of my arms,
chokes me with that swallowed back ‘i love you’
and every call never made and every kiss never given
but you’ll only see my body sinking deeper into your chest.
i wonder if the blue in your jumper knows that i’m dead.
i blink twice and carry on.
november stares into the sun.
the anesthetic never lingers like this memory does.
i learned to love the rush of the tide
now im tipsy by 12, snogging under fairy lights,
microdosing pure hell. six pages of a4 and
two cds in, you told me you loved me
and i snuck right back in.
I’ll let her words out this time,
but it’d kill us to forget
the four months of dying
binding you to my bed.
I’ll scrub the blood from your t-shirt
and sniff back in the lie,
that the girl catching golden leaves
wasn’t destined to die.
Everybody told me
it was safer to run
but you stop feeling pain
when you’re next to the Sun.
Autumn swallows daylight.
Time hurtles by.
It’s been a full year of waiting
since I begged to the sky.
Was it worth it?
Will we happen?
Will I stop chasing hope?
I keep trying to destroy us
but they're trapped in my throat:
the bullets, poison tablets
so they keep killing Me.
They’ll discover what we’re up to
and it’ll bid me to leave
this bunker of a love affair.
And I’ll untie the knot -
the tourniquet I’ve fashioned from this emotional bond.
I’ll stumble breathlessly into open air and weep amongst the trees
I’ll soak in a tired sunset,
climb a mountain just to scream.
Blood will rush into my forearm
because my heart was never dead.
Birds will sing (I’ll count the magpies).
Winds will whistle through my head.
Our story is tragedy (and I’ll linger like a ghost)
but it is the perfect ending
when the woman finally knows
that her heart deserves far better than a rat or a leech
or a man with the audacity
to paint a future
and then leave.
This poem’s a couple rhymes too long
but nothing’s left unsaid
when the girl catching golden leaves
finally sees the red.