Over breakfast, tea brewing,
blue ink to blank page,
I wrote the names of women in my life
who I consider brave or inspiring.
Some in bold ways, others maybe muffled
but laden with their underlying strength.
Today I wrote a list of women I admire
and I was not amongst them.
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.
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,
when lips collide with my skin;
through will this exists.