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Mar 27 · 105
I couldn’t overstay
Oskar Erikson Mar 27
it’s only i get a little scratchy across my shins at 1:33
forehead against work desk
leant down to run a track on my legs
phone untouched, shortcuts retraced
HTT ..PS//
ishouldntcheckyoursocials.      us.

couldn’t make me an addict of loss
which really is the untapped potential
for the future internet of things
safari, waystone.
safari, favourer of webpage rerunners,
safari, guide me back to a bookmarked
cliff-edge of ache.

cookies know me better than my housemate who’s sweetness blocked his accounts before something broke and we’d have to talk about it.

once the whiter lines appear on shinskin like my algorithm
I can sit back up
if not satiated at least appeased
the sound my lungs make isn’t really laughing or crying but
a wheeze.
Oskar Erikson Mar 22
i already cut my hair once
to feel like progress had been made;

and every new year isn’t December
it’s March.

wonder if you still recite my name backwards
the vowels around a tongue;

remind me
that things broken open may never lock again.
Mar 11 · 284
10/03/20XX
Oskar Erikson Mar 11
he cuts roses to
feel the rain.

Mother’s Day.

a downpour in the garden
he tilts the stems
to sever them
from the root.
he tilts the stems
to drink in
a little more.
Jan 22 · 53
under the radiator
Oskar Erikson Jan 22
corrugated;
this love like
an ugly curve.
draining the airpocket
dry.
nails, wood wounded.
all right, all right, all right then.
Jan 16 · 230
at the windowsill
Oskar Erikson Jan 16
it’s -2 degrees.
the sun can’t warm the chill.
overhead, the clouds
blotch daydreams paler.
all im thinking is
it’s been 2 years.
sighing on the glass makes
condensation collect.
like a river,
hold my mouth to the runoff.
i can’t run from grief in the cold sunshine.
but i’ll never let a loss leave me thirsty
for more.
Dec 2023 · 253
i think he left town.
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
the afters
scattered at ankle height.
bodies and turkeys and bottles
litter the 26th midday.
you’re still not here,
Saint Nick. Last year I drove you
to the north
but you said I couldn’t stay. duty called
& you wanted Christmas
with another loved one.

so I left my flat at midnight
with sweetness in my hands
raised;
to the sky watching
for a red light streaking unashamedly,
but the front of the doorstep
was not
darkened by a jolly frame.

the snow
withheld at cloud height.
maybe 8 billion people means
overtime.
maybe a no show means
it’s over time.
and writing a letter 9 hours after
you put the reins down
seems a bit desperate, don’t you think, Saint Nick?

the not days to new years
rupture at heart height.
the workshop’s shut, elves on annual leave. Loving like this means waiting
on an 11 month reprieve.
now the fireworks have started
Auld lang syne sung
but my arms hold the departed,
Saint Nick, perhaps is done.

so now im waiting
for another ** ** ***
and maybe
this one won’t love me enough
also.
Dec 2023 · 278
unprayerable
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
life
(must i dream)
an experience
twice confirmed
three times replayed.

where
is the original?                                                
(to speak)    
isn't performance about spontaneity,          
about the moment?

(the gospel of loss?)                                                                            
what is there to dream of
to get my lines
right, the first time round?
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
fine then.

               i'll forgive a memory and condemn a feeling.
          

                                                               the arteries
bloodless fingers squeezing
               an expression silent.
          
                         press into gumlines - remind enamel
               no recastings will remain
                                                                           at the end of this.
Dec 2023 · 207
iii. grate
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
next to the flat
the neighbourhood
tabby swatting at
the drain.

sinewed fur-lined,
feline; finding
some poor animal
in a cage
outside its making.

i can’t see
below the earth.
the poor thing,
fighting.
Dec 2023 · 308
networking
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
i appreciate the
connection. Did you
see the speaker? The way they
gave it everything in this conference
really resonated with me. My names Oskar
by the way what's yours? Oh really, how lovely
are you from a different department? Maybe one day
I'll come and visit. Oh yeah definitely, what's your Linkedin?
Dec 2023 · 85
sideout-in
Oskar Erikson Dec 2023
maybe it’s
not about the love
of my life;
but the life
inside of my love.
Reverse
Nov 2023 · 373
the price of knowing.
Oskar Erikson Nov 2023
left our things
cratering the desert;
palms upturned
pulling the pressure away -
soft-words
talking down the crumpled spine of loss.
the sand,
the sand.
if it wasn’t so fine,
would you be able to trust
the mistaking of
abrasion for absolution?
will you be able to forgive
the belief
that a collapse can come
with good intentions?
Nov 2023 · 474
boy math
Oskar Erikson Nov 2023
boy math dictates
(id stay indebted to him.)
to be loved
(id gift it to him.)
is to settle up.
(id come knocking to collect for him.)
that to be
(id might be nothing but charity for him.)
owned
(id liquidate any asset asked by him.)
is being willing
(Cash or Credit?)
to owe.
Nov 2023 · 395
after it stopped burning
Oskar Erikson Nov 2023
deliberation deliberate
how different to consider;
and to do.
tell and wait
show and stall.
keep time in back pockets.
fish for change
and make a
pittance.
surely after words,
came reactions,
and after broken promises
came sanctions.

surely after it stopped burning
things began to grow.
stories of salt,
of salting.
an act to crystallise
and make barren,
make bare.

starting
ceasing.
how similar to filling up,
and filing down,
a feeling.
Oct 2023 · 426
magazine
Oskar Erikson Oct 2023
couldn’t keep
my finger off the photo
could never keep things in.
mourning is just having,
a lack of
trigger discipline.
Oct 2023 · 365
endocrine
Oskar Erikson Oct 2023
take me taste me
you are the body
reset me satiate me
you are the body.

touch only
fragments of the full picture
nobody says
the taste would betray me
nobody says
the heart
is the first ***** to commit mutiny.

stabbed, wrecked
punctured, indented
wilt the words so
so my mouth
isn’t responsible anymore.
it cannot be held accountable
for the vowels, unroot my language
supplant love in favour of it

like an opener
                            I remember your laugh
like a close.
Aug 2023 · 133
oversharing
Oskar Erikson Aug 2023
beat into me until i'm broken and the feelings
alight the layer of skin just below the outermost,
like the lining of a jacket, catching aflame.

scratch out the remaining worries with the spines of your teeth.
rake me upwards, shred the doubts like old sunburn peel, and peel and peel the layers of mistrust off of me till i'm raw, pink and ready.

never has this body not been scarred
without first feeling excitement.

since you pierced it, now you're responsible. I'll chase that ownership, mutually owed, to the end of all meaning. till the sensations are the only bits that still make sense, and then you can make up for everything else.

only after this, after everything else is spread across a blood splattered floor, can things start again. only once you make up for not returning the parts of me. only once my remaining organs, now calcified, have been cracked to their inner ichor, and you tip me gently into your thankless lungs.

only once the prostration, the words left since butchered into me, have been flayed by your regret, and raised to the height of saints.

hang me up.
swing by my legs and wrap around the root of me like you once would.
debase yourself inside of me again, learn to build something again. dig deeper than needed again, strike copper in my veins so I can oxidise again. watch me alight again, at your briefest touch.
Aug 2023 · 547
Proofs (10w)
Oskar Erikson Aug 2023
All falls are named "potential".

tongue against proof's,

love inconsequential.
Jul 2023 · 790
top 5% content creator.
Oskar Erikson Jul 2023
am I more than a drink
taken per food group
swallowed by instinct.
you’re more to me than thirst.
sliced by feeling,
unpeeled heart wrenching
take from all and, Nothing.
I wait for you here,
so perhaps the taste of you
lights back stars, and starlight.
perhaps the taste of you
finds pathways in the back of legs, of knee.
you are permenent in the heat of love
but sliced in essence.
**** ME
and ask very little in return, ask of holding.
your **** as it grows limp in the moonlight,
all I miss is the taste of your absence
all I taste is the feeling of you
finished inside of me which laid the foundations of something larger than what this body can contain,
I love it, the hurt of your breaking into me.
and hurt of the love that remains.
Jun 2023 · 733
1st - 3rd Degree.
May 2023 · 514
inertion sickness
Oskar Erikson May 2023
i stood in my new flat today
counting the spins the fan
made in its centre.
an americanism, too out of body
for me to keep an eye on.
what now?
but to wait till the inertion sickness
crawls its way from the soles up to oesophagus.

tilt back till back flat against the black flat floor.
(i hated that sentence but it needed some air.)
wondering if i can melt beneath the new money wood,
can i stand upside down,
ankles halo’d in my space and my head in the neighbours.

the hallway to the bedroom where he sleeps a little more soundly
now i’m out the bed,
dares me to leave him alone.
“you’ve clawed this distance out” i murmur back.
“i can trace it in the skirting boards.”

sitting up i go to close the window
and lock it, unlock it and smile at the little piece of freedom
i can’t ever give back.
Dec 2022 · 168
guilty
Oskar Erikson Dec 2022
my love language
is you
in different fonts.
Nov 2022 · 151
Healing sounds like
Oskar Erikson Nov 2022
sometimes all there isn’t ;
is us.
and that’s ok.
Nov 2022 · 1.2k
nostalgia as a form of grief
Oskar Erikson Nov 2022
“i never knew how good i’d be at reopening old wounds
until you left me.”
Nov 2022 · 146
hyperopia
Oskar Erikson Nov 2022
blurry eyes
that refract
thank you
no longer
will these
hope less
words be
un founded
who needs
to aim
when already
the feeling
the weight
pressing against
the roof
of my
****** mouth
is direction
enough
Oct 2022 · 622
site
Oskar Erikson Oct 2022

we lack the language
to describe a site of a wound still healing.
all the poetry seems to say is
“im only half sorry you’re still hurting.”
Oskar Erikson Sep 2022
i mourned
us
on the train back.
North East to London,
Norfolk into Suffolk into Home.

England,
a green, scarred patchwork,
blistering apart while i sit.
A woman opposite tries to coax the
context
out of me; the entertainment,
before we're pulled into Liverpool St Station.

to credit my memory -
it frames itself nicely, my mugged up
glasses.
a sunbeaten, reddened, ruddy face -
holding back.  swallowing the
outburst -

"i let myself believe for once."

we sit.
the quiet unbroken.
save for the sounds of me
steadily
getting further from you.  

the sounds of me steadily getting further from you.

i mourned us once again.
ten months in and now
six months out
filled with immeasurable moments later.
there was no woman this time.
and only without her
or us -
i found the truth to say


"i let myself believe, for once."
Oskar Erikson Sep 2022
the most painless way to leave is
non-arrival.
self sabotage as absentia.
the only loss
lacking malice.

i did not want you to get close because
i did not want you to get too close.

i did not want you to take up space for me as i did not
want you to want the same from me.

im not sorry i didn’t want you
im sorry you did want me

self-sabotage as non-arrival.
self-sabotage as a convincing half-truth.
self-sabotage as a refuge.
self-sabotage as the lesson.
Oskar Erikson Aug 2022
i made the mistake.

taking too many photos
knowing they’d last
forever.

too late
realising
we wouldn’t.
Oskar Erikson Aug 2022
and who's to stop me?
management
have managed
their time productively.
                                       shudder to think
                                       they'd begrudge a
                                       subordinate the time
                                       to blast their feelings
                                       off the clock.
leaning over window panes
that lack
balconies to catch
their workers.
                                     my 1-1s have started and ended
                                     with a heart in my mouth
                                     making it harder for the words
                                     'i quit' to get out.

can i just pivot off of can i just piggyback can we just swivel can i put a pin in you and sew up the wounded look that face carries to the coffee machine every lunch Oskar take some sick leave or just leave at this point we haven't identified your fit and our culture of inclusion excludes delays in action i just don't understand how personal problems seep into the workplace what its been five months which is half the time you were with him can't it
just be let go?
just let me go
you're being let go
i want to let go.
                                                    ~ HR will be in touch. ~
Oskar Erikson Aug 2022
We lasted 10 months
to the dot.
it seemed almost comical
how a relationship
could be so self contained.
i wondered-
looking at the freckle on the flat of your hand
whisky coloured on the smooth brown expanse—
if giving too much was really a problem I’d have to solve by myself.
the redlines we’d both crossed
reappeared in your eyes
i couldn’t understand where the stress the pressure summoned itself
begging to blow you up
but I could understand your hopelessness when you said you don’t want me to disappear.

it was only after that early morning walk to Starbucks together where
for fear of
wasting a weekend of sun
mourning
us
i debased myself
holding your hand, putting you piggyback  and running
like if i could make it to the finish line you’d give me a consolation prize and take me back.

watching videos in your halfway home
feeling your heartbeat
slow in my arms
believing it meant
this coldness was going to
melt away and
we’d rematch and be free

Until you spoke so casually
about the life you’d now get to live
unbound & free
the tautness of my heart
snapped me back to reality
cursing until my tears choked me.

i remember
packing myself away
you standing over me asking

“How are you feeling?”

like a taunt
with my fingers
grasping through the clothes
I brought to spend
in the sun
pushed to the back of
the suitcase
I stood and
unleashed all the truths
and half truths
and lies
unspooled
months
of love
in moments
to try to leave you
scarred and raw;

“you never loved me you never meant it really you want to be free you aren’t sick you don’t want to be my friend you don’t know what you want you were lying to me and now you wont even fight for me”

but you stood glacial -
and I realised it  -
was hopeless you had already moved on -
and all ive done was -
sentence myself to exile -
Oskar Erikson Jul 2022
remembering
the day after
a date in the grasslands
where our necks
ached on earthy blankets
and legs mottled by sweet kisses
delivered from flies.

my god the
jealousy
that they had known intimacy
of the softness in the calves i took to
sleep that afternoon we met
filled the short
but beautiful
sunset
with melancholy.

maybe here you found
i held codependency quite closely.

so
you took me to one of those superstores
that sell
beds.

                                   "i have a friend who's closing he always makes and double folds the quilt because it makes him feel like someone's mum."

you half shouted over
the motorway behind us- the demanding
yet
secondary conversation.

how
i wondered, did i end up here
                   - the boy i liked 6 months in -
laughing between
his downy hair and tap touchy fingers
now
so proudly leading the way
as his
friend, tired & mischievous
ushered us into the theatre
of infinite fractal bedspreads.

                                                 "hurry up so i can close to give you your privacy i'm going for a smoke."

spoken like any true
east London mum-
all ciggie ash
and true love.

i got to watch you work

which was flattering to say the least.
to stand beside
kings and queens
doubles and singles
being bent
dragged and persuaded
to your whimsy.
watching the curve of a bicep
seized up in delirious rearranging
                         - the muscles of the neck betray the youth of love-
until a masterpiece emerging
before us both
was realised.

                      "at least now we can cuddle without the bugs...or at the least these are bed ones?"

i remember
unwrapping the currently occupied smokers
carefully settled blankets like a first birthday
gift.
sliding under them,
with my shoes kicked away in eagerness.
your arms
not yet scarred with indecision
pull me closer till i forget to breathe....

this is it.
the mattresses connected sheets and sheets and sheets of feeling and this is it at once to cover and unravel against the texture of the cushions the springs the feathers locked away this is it like the words i whispered through the skin of the pillow your arm not so much pinned as smothered below the crook of my neck and this is it all there is is the smell of us in this beautiful moment that latches me to the frame in my mind against my back with the weight of the future this is it the pressing pressing pressing at the touch of our palms the touch of our lips the distances we'll learn to walk alone or together or side by side but not able to look at the path we tread perpendicular to our hearts this is it this is it this is it it it


....then i breathe.
Jun 2022 · 718
SixFiveSeven
Oskar Erikson Jun 2022
i think the worst thing
is never knowing how
many photos of us
you had on your phone;
while im sitting here
ruminating how
after
        657
             moments
i ended up alone.
May 2022 · 805
gone and dusted
Oskar Erikson May 2022
much of my commute
these past few days
has been about the first call
we’ll never have after our break.

obsessing over
the receiver bringing
absolution
through your imagined hello
in more weeks than i dare count.

my phones notif’s are almost taunting me
reminders from every little corner of the internet
that life can’t pause
the moving on
after the
death of another gay boys feelings.

the thought
eventually there’ll be an
unspoken acceptance
your voice will never be close and familiar again

unshackles me.

as the northern line pulls into the platform
i like to imagine somewhere under its torturous sound
you’re speaking to me and i just can’t hear it.

this is the peace i’ve been left with
to patch myself up
in all of its ugly simplicity.

oh how a heart can sink but still shine.
oh how my love can be smothered
and you be fine.
Mar 2022 · 1.3k
avalanche
Oskar Erikson Mar 2022
heard the mountaintop
be scraped clear of snow this morning.
some angry man
shouting up the cliffsides
he said:
"take it all and quickly.
before my hands find the strength to close.
take me into the calm
this thin air carries my tears too easily."
he said:
"you were right about my legs
standing for the sake of looking down at you
scared of laying things bare"
he cried
"i was wrong about you
that the words meant something more
and that things get better in the end"-------------------------------------------------------------­-----------------------------------------------------------------­-----------------------------------------------------------------­-------------------------------------

"that things get better in the end"

smothered in something icywarm
May 2021 · 439
run, lightly and with love
Oskar Erikson May 2021
"Are you still there? Are you still listening?"
----------------
"its not like i've typed out our conversations many times before.
the things we said in days previous, couldn't live too long inside of me
so my fingers got used to pressing against the easily bruised keys of the phone screen until every tap kept telling
me
to run,
lightly and with love.
its seeing the
criss/crossed markings like nautical charts. laying out the gorges and gaps ahead for us, why couldn't there be another way
....
i thought to set sail with your spirit
clutched tightly to my chest.
---------------
"i don't think so."
Feb 2021 · 415
quarantine confession
Oskar Erikson Feb 2021
mother
i loved a boy
like you wouldn't have wanted me too.

i've since found
its very sad
to love a man
like the way you do.
Oskar Erikson Feb 2021
granted, taking this loss
somewhat harder
than expected. couldn't have been the sort of guy who asked for permission
to grieve
it
sort of happens.

i am taking a little breath before the next break so speak now or
forever hold my hand

you were doing so well
so was I
we are falling
without a plan to land
.
Feb 2021 · 297
sunday
Oskar Erikson Feb 2021
forty steps in the town church to spire height.
we ran away                                                                                                    
after communion

watching pigeons roost.

sawdust settled on stained glass.

sat with the stigmata in the pit of me.                                                          

your eyes aloft
to the beams where Christ
laid bare

coveting
the beauty in a man.                                                                                        
and learning
boys wish would it grace them.


       i did not think to ask you if you felt the same                  
        i did not know how.
Oskar Erikson Nov 2020
slighted fingertips
withdrawing from a near-fatal embrace
how does it feel?
to brush precariously
at the edge of something
infinitely beautiful;
to find the void
greeting you instead.

curled at waist height
or tied
to the belt loops of jeans
or smushed into pockets,
balled up
waiting for  another
chance to extend again.

there in the throes of night
unclenching, reclenching fists lay,
wondering

will the next time will be different
and
how will it feel?
Oskar Erikson Oct 2020
body like a Hoplite,
raised from the dust to lay the land-
sent armed
ashen spear and heart,
trunks of armour clad legs
growing into the clay coloured Earth
rooted.

these lyre-heartstrings taut with longing.
to see
a browbeaten Myrmidon,
in daylight.

watch, as the breath of Zeus escapes
Grecian chests,
concave with muscle
Olympus itself exists within those crevices.

i lay offerings,
ambrosia soaked spoken word
at the under-flesh of your calf
laying beside myself
in hope the whispers bestowed to you from the Fates
on the eve of Troy
mean less with your lips, pressed to wine, against mine.
Oct 2020 · 360
midday music
Oskar Erikson Oct 2020
spotify playlists
made for times of sadness,
sometimes bring
sweeter moments,
when listened to
in the sunlight.
Oskar Erikson Oct 2020
“have you ever felt love?” he asked

drinking
down
my
last one for the night
i replied,

like an atmosphere.
Oct 2020 · 275
personal history
Oskar Erikson Oct 2020
beginning:

playing football
in the communal
playground
pitched between
mountains of concrete
brown brick office blocks
blockaded high street shops
council housing kingdoms.

memory;

taking potshots at metal
goalposts slicked with
the rain and scabbed spray paint
till the olders kick us aside
basketballs in hand
for freethrows from the poverty line.

unlearning;

to think
love like marble
too cold and rich to touch
in fear that it’d turn out to be *****
like two boys
looking at each other for too long
can leave stains no amount of febreze can air out.

end;

i still can’t sleep in your arms
but you never stop searching for me
in yours
all there is left to do
is let
myself be found.
I grew up in East London. This is how I want to commemorate my leaving it.
Sep 2020 · 213
Orpheus
Oskar Erikson Sep 2020
fear
he who reaches into
the core of a heart
and makes
its cavities
music.

Sep 2020 · 255
what it meant
Oskar Erikson Sep 2020
two people embracing
on the potholed curbside,
a car splash-zone
loving,
risking the ire of the overzealous
parking monitor
on the off chance-
they remember what it meant
to cling onto someone else
heart rooted firmly in another.
Aug 2020 · 161
Useless
Oskar Erikson Aug 2020
a book of poems
written by hands now holding  
someone new.
i ponder
whether the stanzas
still wreck havoc with your heart.
i wonder
can my lips can reach you through the useless pages.
ex lover
poetry written with ghosts
can only haunt who caused
the poet to suffer.
Aug 2020 · 100
confession {1}
Oskar Erikson Aug 2020
i learned
to navigate by
charting the dreams
i snatched from opposite side of the bedroom
like stars.
“The blue grass stuck to my skin-snakes like to pretend to be vines-I saw you writing-I was so happy-we lived together-you burnt the rice-i had to clean it up-you looked happy-couldn’t get to sleep-hurt my head-didn’t dream today-didn’t happen again-why do you ask-i can’t remember-don’t really care-they
don’t mean anything-
right?”

left on open waters
without a sky full of stars
drifting away from land
by the waves.
Aug 2020 · 214
Worthwhile
Oskar Erikson Aug 2020
-you came back
to give rest to this fatigued relationship
in hope there was a chance to sleep
without the ghosts whispered into your side of the bed
running their fingers along somebody spineless-


i can stretch across the length of the bed now                                                    
and not feel guilt.                                                                  
like rescue has arrived
in the form of  a goodbye ~  

like it was worthwhile                                                              
suffering to better appreciate my own smile.
Aug 2020 · 197
insistance
Oskar Erikson Aug 2020
the ones who stray
are as important
as the ones who stay
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