Digging Up My Body Parts

Digging Up My Body Parts

I wore a long-sleeved black dress;

chiffon, bow tied at the front

and floating,

floating but heavy.

You said I looked nice today

and I wheedled out a ‘thank you’ with a side joke

of ‘don’t I always?’

Just keep it light hearted, don’t think about it.

Keira Knightley plays Colette,

a true story about a man’s power

and a woman’s fight to recover hers,

but you’re oblivious to its significance

and the meaning saunters past you.

I think the meaning sauntered past him too,

last time I wore this black dress at the cinema.

I don’t remember what we watched

but I can point you to our seats,

describe how he was sat on my right,

sweaty hand on my leg crossed away from him,

eyes baring down into my skin

and my red summer shoes,

where no amount of clicking those heels

would ever get me home.

Underneath Your Sleeve Sketches

Underneath Your Sleeve Sketches

I’m close to running out of words

but since you always preferred pictures

I will write this last one as an image,

bold colours painted on canvas

to accentuate the meaning you have only partly heard.

Brush strokes form curves that protect from your sharp edges,

you were a paper cut borrowing my blood,

spreading stained fingerprints across soaked skin

and calling it fine art, calling it love.

Something Softer Than Flowers

Something Softer Than Flowers

It’s December 2016, and we pack these winter blossoms

into bento boxes, whispers of potential

to warm these bones, worn as a wish

but later wrapped as a promise.

You profess you cannot understand poetry

so brave the words in plain sight, born of longing

for a lighter spring, a bold leap towards belonging

to the flow of the seasons and folded limbs.

‘More fun’, you said, ‘more time’, list reasons to celebrate

our intertwining lives and smile at the story so far.

The story; so far.

What I Owe To No One

What I Owe To No One

This might be a year of firsts;

the year I learn not to shrink

into a space neatly prepared for my heart

since I am a privilege

and not a ‘one size fits all’,

that even good things can fall away

and words left unsaid

are a bottled scent left on the doorstep,

a perfume I can’t wear anymore,

pick my power up off the floor,

feed on its potential,

adore myself.

Red Shoes and Life Signs

Red Shoes and Life Signs

The famine started long before this soul could read,

letters giving way to patterns,

stolen colours mixed with second hand scraps

and fashioned as freedom.

A skin that falls away from the bones

to expose the starved sinews, weak from sneaking sensations

in all the wrong places.

Months spent as an empty shell

longing for the sea,

weighed down with sand and plastic wrappers;

cheap treasure, shallow digger.

All that tickles and thunders was buried deeper underground

but detecting only shadow signals

instinct gave way to injured impulse

and lay dying in final defence of the once courageous heart

who lost its rage to a captive life

in a weather-beaten cage and severed from the body,

power seeping out the cells into a muddy puddle on the floor.

But home is where the heart is,

even when it fights back at a crawl

this body will regrow limbs, applying medicines

to clot the blood back into these veins

and the whispers of the wild woman

will echo through each chamber of the heart,

breathing gulps of handmade air

just to howl at the moon.