Steady rhythm, pounding feet
and rising heart beat, caught in a battle of wills
with a maze of mental hills to climb
but covered in a sweat that is finally mine, from my skin,
a body I can again feel alive in through the out breath
where you left, no, where I left you
to starve on the side of a deserted road
with nowhere to escape my precious sunlight
and waiting a lifetime to be rescued.
Now it’s your turn to go through hell,
hear the bells ringing as your time has come
and I am running,
running with power,
power running through my blood.
The results are in;
I have seen their Instagrams and painted frames
and we are nine tenths not the same.
It will take all the strength I don’t have
to lift this sadness
off this second-rate skin cage,
I could never measure up to win a single round.
So I will count my losses in pounds
and my doubts as all the demons
who never leave my side,
but still I shall smile like I am fine.
Drink this whisky like it is poison
because I have developed a thirst for oblivion,
drowning in the curse of my own antipathy.
The edge of a cliff is a beautiful place
but I misplace confidence in my footing,
forget the risk of mud slides,
the effect of tears on mossy rocks.
By now, the fall should not come as a shock
and the shore breaks waves
like I am sure to break bones.
Blown away are the foundations
of a love to come home to,
for who could ever soften the landing
of a heart demanding to spill its own blood.
Sometimes the only pain I can carry is the one that burns, that draws blood, because beating myself up is the only bearable unbearable way I know to bruise. Shallow breaths don’t support screaming, starving turns dark thoughts lightweight and lightheaded means less space to care. Wait till you see my bones and how the hurt just falls off me when it has nothing to hang on to, wait till you hear my heart rupture and rush red through my ribcage like it was running for its life. Then watch how love pours out my arteries and leaves when it believes I’m better off empty. You touch this frozen, unfeeling skin but all this shrinking means I shall slip through your fingers. Taste me on the breeze, somewhere not here.
Direct the surgeon
to make the incision
side left, inbetween my ribs,
pausing to let the cut bleed.
I need something warm to feel on my skin at the end,
so let it trickle, leave its stain.
Insert the tube through to my chest cavity,
drain the fluid, and once I am coloured grey
then keep going
till this body fades away,
Donate my organs
to one who understands their value
better than I did,
who knows to love every breath these lungs take
and can tell each beat of our heart
it has always been good enough.
I woke this morning in parts,
making coffee with crossed wires
and crying coconut milk.
Washed my body in two minds;
one mine, one a critical mother,
blood weeping from cracks in her breast bone.
A broken mirror watches
as clothes are chosen with baggy fit for comfort,
pulled on with careful movements,
for the world cannot know
of the war I wear in my chest
when I am missing whole pieces of woman.
One day at a time, this torrid lava
will either explode or lie dormant, a choice
between third-degree burns or destroying the landscape,
painting scar tissue in brush strokes
because I’d rather save the planet.