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g Apr 27
he is wearing africa and all i have is a civil war playing out inside of me. i ring him. i tell him i have no money left. i say “i'm sorry you couldn’t **** the gay out of me.” he laughs like it’s his fault, i hang up. i think about how there will never be enough air in the atmosphere for me to breathe. my skin is infinite, i don’t have edges. it’s difficult to expect to not get touched when you live in endless skin. the air is hanging low tonight, lower than ever. i go to ring her, to tell her she is a gardener, a hospital-clean being. i don’t have her number anymore. i have to tell her about these hands, these old hands, how i think they caused chernobyl when i was someone else. i have to tell her that every word was a mistake; they were all just really bad spellings of her name.
copyright gb 2014
Apr 1 · 551
g Apr 1
wake up
there is silence outside
there is a song playing you don’t know the words to.
there are words, no, cameras on the walls
read them.
here is a microphone -
stand still,
shed your skin
we are spinning faster than your monkey brain can compute.
air thick with smoke, no —
suffocating planet shaking under plastic wrap.
did you know there are ammonia clouds on jupiter?
do you realise we are fighting over barrels of oil?
don’t touch me
because i don’t know if i want to die,
waiting for the end in the end times
copyright gb 2020
Apr 1 · 83
mile end, summer
g Apr 1
a man is talking at a house party on the other side of the canal/ people are talking around him/ occasionally laughter erupts and rushes rather than drifts on the air/ a car tyre screeches and somewhere a washing machine or a hoover or a truck cleaning the streets is humming/ my pen on the page is a hollow drag / my hand sticks to the paper as it moves left to right/ the music playing outside is a song i can't identify/
copyright gb 2020
Apr 1 · 631
postage stamp apology
g Apr 1
go back to where it began:
trombone / cob nut / tadpole / violin /
you fell —
and i have not breathed it since
except that hot summer;
when we excavated
an entire roman village of chicken bones
from the soil
where now there are none
copyright gb 2020
g Dec 2014
“can i still sing about a chain gang if i’m the one holding the whip” - neil hilborn

mike brown raises his hands and gets shot six times by a cop

eric garner dies in a choke hold

god paints us a spectrum in her own image.

we should not need to be chalked to be able to speak.
how is it that i can survive
but there are still black boys
dying on their own american streets?

oh gunshot
these bodies we die in
you alphabet god
you loaded barrel and readied god.
oh god of upturned hearts and toyshop guns
can you hear the marching?
was it eve who ate those strange fruit,
this family tree,
those bodies?
these black faced bodies you sent down to die like your son.
like a match and a fever.
how trayvon was holding skittles and died
but there are still white men who hold themselves like hand grenades
and pull their own pins
god, how the west isn’t wild it’s just white
white like fever
like sweat
like ‘dear mr president when will this police state end’

oh body of want
body of mist
and rust
and oil
and half cooked men
how we carved ourselves into god shaped jars of cement and taught ourselves to **** each other and forget
we are breaking our bodies for you
we are passing our bread until there’s no trace of you left

and i am lucky
because one time i thought i was going to die
and it was at the hands of myself
not these white men
these gravediggers


and this walk to my grandmothers house where i don’t have to wonder if i’m gonna get shot
because of this face this skin
how we forget these bodies are not things we choose

how do we peel these colours off of us
help me show the white man that we bleed the same blood
will you hold your wrists to their ears
let your pulse shout:

Oct 2014 · 1.3k
oh god
g Oct 2014
let’s play truth or dare.
so we can mouth a hundred hymns at each other then remember
that we
are the only things we believe in.
i want to whisper in your ear
say how i think
that the first person made a thousand sounds and called them gods
and named them all after you.
nobody has ever been so beginning.

tell me back.
how you love the ash you find in between the pages of my favourite books,
i want to know that i’m here, cigarette burns and all.
i know we are both missing and that’s okay because nothing is whole.

have you ever wanted to become a straight line?
have you ever wanted to learn every single freckle?
name them with your teeth?
taste them under your tongue?
i have never been more silhouette, more oil on water,
more ‘please don’t leave’.

i have tasted your smoke under my tongue.
i have wanted to turn myself into a whisper,
i have breathed your name at the back of my throat.

i tell you
a girl is a safe place you can make yourself to shake in.
a body is something you can grow into,
or out of.
when the door is closed and you say that you’re home,
i hope you know what that means.
i hope you hold that weight to your chest.

i say ”i hope you come back soon.”
she says “ring me when you’re home safe.”
g Oct 2014
“Woman does not emerge from man’s ribs. Not ever. It’s he who emerges from her womb.” Nizar Qabbani.

1. In the beginning
God asked himself a question and only made half the answer.
The Bible says
That when the Lord realised the world needed a woman
He searched through man, took a rib, and made her.

2. Eve, all apple and velvet.
I know you didn’t come kicking and screaming.
You, grafted onto man like a prize fruit
then cooked up like a red wine sauce all acid and hiss.
After the Bible took away the one thing it thought you were good for in the first place
it had you hold hands with the devil,
all flirtation and fashion,
made you sound like your body was empty of anything else.

Mother of mothers.
Carved yourself from the rubble the same way David pulled himself from the stone.
Don’t tell me a woman is ever a safe place to rest.
Don’t think Eve ever let herself be an after thought.

3. On the third day
before the flood and the fire and the rubble,
God made himself a garden and called it Eden.
Or Eve.
Or something.
He stopped, closed his eyes and finally smiled because at last he had made something holier than himself.
He tried every fruit, spat the seeds like broken teeth.
Over the next few nights Eve kissed her life into Adam’s ribs,
told him it was
all good.
When The Lord finally moulded Adam from the clay of the garden, the wind whispered and knew.

4. People say that a great woman is just like a fine wine - full bodied and getting better with age.
Tell that to your mother.
Tell that to every woman who has ever fought for a cause.
A woman’s blood is worth so much more than communion but men just love a commodity.

5. I close my eyes and I am standing in a garden.
Her name is Eve:
her hands are ripe fruit;
head a forest fire;
body sinking under the weight of a great flood.
I say: “Eve how do I think myself into forest?
Will you show me how to become forest fire? All skin and bones and burning map.
You perfect absolute.”

6. So I turn back. Pull her name from my ribs like I was the first and I came from her.
And then my hands, gentle gravediggers.
And later I looked up and there was nothing except earth and light and earth and light and her
and it was over again.
So I sat down. Took a breath - the first real breath, hands shaking like the corners of pages.

7. I looked for the first time and I could see for miles.
I could see for miles.
Jun 2014 · 1.7k
g Jun 2014
You crystal ballroom, all windows and walls, sewing light like seed over everything you touch.
Glass eyed stare, hands growing like they're getting away with something.
Everything you love is a trick of the light.
Everything it touches feels just like you.
Hiding heads under street-lamps like sin is some sort of choice we make, like growing is something to be done in silence.
They say that people in glasshouses shouldn't throw pebbles, but how can you expect to let people in if you can't even get out?

My grandmother looks straight though me, thoughts locked in, hands clamped around her bag of dead friends like holding them tight enough could bring them back. 
She tells me how full of life I am. I want to tell her how we all carry echoes around in our pockets but I don't think she'd understand.

And I just want to call you. Hand you everything I have like:
'Here's the dirt from under my nails. Call it apology. I hope it finally makes something grow'
'Here's that poem I never finished. Here's to hallelujah. Here's to all your leaving'
'Here's my storm cloud. Here's my salt spray.  Here's my window all dusted and bruised. I don't know how else to tell you that I have loved you in all four seasons'.

Everything you love will one day become sandstorm, cliff face, the blunt edge of a knife.
One day it won't be you holding the match.

Everything you love will turn back to dust
Everything you love will turn back to light
Apr 2014 · 8.9k
The Piano Man
g Apr 2014
In 2005 The Piano Man was found wandering the streets of Sheerness in a soaking wet suit and tie.
He didn't say a word.
When presented with pad and pen he simply drew a grand piano.
His nurses sat him in front of a beat up old upright
he played for four hours straight.
For four months his hands were the only things to break his silence.

Alexandre Dumas said "man will never be perfect until he learns to create and destroy."
Do you ever think about how Beethoven hacked the legs off his piano so he could feel the sounds he couldn't hear in his head, through his chest?
And Van Gogh heard the sounds his paintings made but kept going until his sanity
was just a memory floating on a distant river under a tired Milky Way.
And you see, like a Gaelic folk song blindness runs red through my family,
so I know it's not much but I'm here, still trying to mould my hands to say the right form of 'I love you'.

And did you know that the human heart beats over 30 million times a year, but we still have a hard time keeping our feet on the ground?
And did you know that the act of breaking in a horse is actually the act of breaking it's back?
Like we can't sit without sitting on broken things.
And did you know that every time a mobile phone sends out a GPS signal a bee loses it's way home, and every bee that doesn't reach it's hive dies?

So on nights when your pulse matches the beat of my favourite song
you don't have to wonder if it's me matching the syncopation of your silence.
And I wonder if you ever found what you were looking for.
And I wonder if you realise that on days you're not here I roll up my sleeves,
count the beats without you,
sit on the backseat and miss you.
And somewhere The Piano Man rolls up his sleeves
creates the Big Bang under his fingertips.
And in 2005 on an April morning in Sheerness, a suited piano man walks straight into the ocean,
begs the current to take him.

I send you a message.
A bee loses it's way home.
I send you another.
Another bee dies.
My chest cavity is a bumble bee crypt.
My tongue is a honeyed graveyard.

Another message.
The Big Bang.
The hive.
A suit.
That ocean.
Another back is broken.
Another message is sent.
I fear I am more honeycomb than heart.

To create is to destroy. To destroy is to succeed.
And would you just look at what these piano hands have finally done.
Grace beadle 2014
g Apr 2014
October, you are made of dust and I am a gun.
I killed men once.
When I lifted her veil I felt all of their features melt into one.
I smiled, it was all your storm in me.

October, you are a briefcase. You are six months long.
Tonight, there are tigers reaching out over my head
and I am your god out dancing on his weekend, say,
would you look at all your glass, bursting at the seams?
Would you ask him if I ever got there? Would you tell me why I keep pulling your explosive from my chest like a name label? Would you explain how metal peels as easy as skin with the right amount of madness?

October, I am no more than your casualties.
I am every sadness they ever said you would be.
Silver hands. I can carry these men but I cannot hold them up.

Mother, I thought I saw you standing there but it was just a bullet trail in the darkness.
I am buried in all of your letters, imprinting the both of us on the backbones of these papers;
they tell me I've become all the keys you sent.

October, you are a ballroom with all that break break break and I am falling but I haven't even left the ground yet.
When I rain down on you remember me, like the first sunset you ever wrapped yourself up in, and when they say
that I was never a stronghold, show them all the letters I tried to write you but never sent,
tell them about how the flesh ripped from my bones and left me a relic,
ask them if they can hear me breathing over all that storm.

October, you are confetti leaves falling under tyres on your wedding day,
and I can't be the light that catches them, I can't tell you that this world will wait long enough for you.
So tonight I am burning my name like it's the last thing I'll ever have.
And when they bring us home in our body bags,
remember that the choices we made were the choices we wanted to make.

October, you are a dust storm, and all your colour's left in me
Grace Beadle 2014
g Dec 2013
In our house I am sin, and you are a window.
In our bedroom I am the rest of the house, I am a countdown from five and you are the lights which turn off, you are a rooftop, you are glowing haze on a nearly distant horizon.
In this house I cannot breathe you in anymore. Our bed is made from your sheet lightning.
In our room, under the bed, there are three square, white boxes.
In the first there is a small wooden elephant.
In the second there is a blank sheet of paper, folded in two.
The third is empty.
In this room I am alone. In this house I am sin. I don't think I'm here.
g Nov 2013
I filled your veins with water and wrote you down on white paper so I didn't have to read you back anymore. Girl's got a suicide pact across the pacific and all I can do is taste the dust.
2. There is a certainty in the way your body moves out time with itself when you think too much.
3. You told me you wanted to be a saint but you were too afraid of the sight of god. When you asked what belief tasted of they told you: fresh buttercream and a wasp's sting. We didn't see you for days.
4. There is a certain tension and it only exists between the bends of girl's legs and the concrete which holds them stronger than any arms could.
5. I want to run every cliche by you and watch you hold hands into the night with it instead of me.
6. Some people can be replicated entirely out of candle wax.
7. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO ******* SELF AWARE ALL THE TIME. You can't even watch yourself.
8. You know you're a halfway house of cells and who are you to say I can't keep up?
9. Say would you tell me if I was just a little off key?
9. Would you tell me the answers to the questions I never asked?
9. Would you play that evening differently if you could turn back the hands that bind you?
10. I burnt you a bridge and sent you the fire like we could ever fill a room with your god. I want to ask him what he thinks of our sins.
11. There is a fluidity in the way your words turn back on themselves.
11. There is a fluidity in the way you turn back on yourself.
11. There is a fluidity in the way people leave doors open for you.
12. I don't think I'd even know what to say to you if I saw you.
13. I only feel comfortable on even numbers.
13. I guess I made myself an odd number.
13. I don't know what we're left with.
13. This is not how we were supposed to end up.
14. I wish you could see the holes you left in the back of my throat.
15. Loving you was as easy as leaving the lights on.
16. And that walk to your parents house was a floodlit symphony like you capitalised every word of every passage I wrote about you with
17 reasons to stay.
And 18 to leave.

The first was the last time I shook like a guard rail and you were a concrete staircase, and I swear, I ain't never seen nothing like you yet.
The second: my fist on your name. But I am here now, like a lit splint bursting into flames, you won't ever find a ghost like me again babe.
The third. And you just want to **** everything. I said you just want to **** everything in your Berlin Wall house.
Your girl's got a bullet hole for a mouth and when it rains, it really does pour round here.
g Nov 2013
How easy do you forget what you left there?
When you stream those chemical trails do you think about the girls you tried to write down but couldn't?
I wonder if you find the pieces I left you under bottom drawers and do you sign yourself away next to my names when the door's locked and I'm the only thing left sitting, watching the window for traces of you?
Did I mark you like you did me?
I left my favourite things for you on the off chance
that you will still taste me when you remember pouring sugar into my tea
on Tuesday nights, or white Sunday 4pms.
I haven't breathed as deep as the day I left you.
I want to tell you how I don't wait up for you anymore,
don't listen for Greek around every corner anymore.
There are parts of us stuck beneath the floorboards, the walls wait with baited breath,
and this skin is so volatile I have to walk through myself just to remind me I'm here.
I breathe you out.
Maybe you are still seeing, me seeing you,
in your head.
Oct 2013 · 1.3k
g Oct 2013
You're breaking on your camera hand. Haven't got a leg to stand on.
You tell me
you're making me a colour with your shorthand.
Dropping parts of your mind behind you and I can't pick them up, I can't follow you round anymore.
Kid, you're shaking on the stage again
explain that you can't write this down anymore
and that everything inside your head is a storm.
And I just can't tell you.
I don't have the guts to tell you
that I still smell him on my hair on days when I don't think about you now.
But I can't tell you what I'm thinking
like how you're so wrapped up in your own broken strings that you're not getting me right anymore.
You're not getting me right anymore.

These things I lost down in my chest:
how you made this body your chalkboard fourteen days before we even spoke,
and I don't know what you're leaving with. I can't find the words to leave you with.
Tornado hands. Texas lungs. How this world made you a storyline.
You're an underage drunk on a school night.
Stop dropping yourself I can't hold you up anymore.
This is not a hold up.
This is you forgetting to ask about yourself.
Here are all the letters I never sent you
take them out of me, stop making me write you down I can't write you down anymore please scratch yourself out.

You once asked me if I felt it when you woke up in the middle of the night across all those miles, I told you:
you're a church bell in a hurricane
stuck under all the folded over pages I left you with, and I'm leaving you on a Sunday,
just like all those characters you left sawn off.
And I just want to ask you how many times I have to break myself apart before I piece back whole, and I realise
that we've got nothing left going for us anymore.
Your chipped teeth under my tongue telling me "stop apologising for yourself,"
ripping the keys off a typewriter just take everything I've got.

You can have my apologies love.
You can have my best friend sitting on the tracks.
You can take me whole, take me home.
You're a boarded window, nothing disclosed,
"get away from me".
Candlelight through the gaps on a Saturday night in December.
We're home alone again.
Home alone again.
Oct 2013 · 1.0k
g Oct 2013
I wrote you eight poems. They tasted like ground-up cinnamon.
The lights came, I told them I had nothing else to write.
When they laughed, my bones split with them.
There were brambles at the bottom of our garden, they held their heat like the arms they scratched.
They grew back every time like they were reminding us that nothing else could exist in the chemicals.
The chemicals said no.
My skin told me I didn't want to be there. My hands ached.
I held my breath for the length of the factory. I held my breath every first time you touched me.
When we turned the corner in the dark your indicator flashing against the wall made me feel like flying. I still feel that when I don't think about it.
There is a hole near the top corner of the front door. I leave the back window unlocked. Maybe you will find a way in. Maybe you are still trying.
I held my breath for you.
Sep 2013 · 2.0k
g Sep 2013
I watch tv with the sound turned off just so I don't have to hear anything that reminds me of you anymore.
Chest down, I'm trapped against the ceiling and I'm flirting with the impossibility that limbs so heavy could take me this high.
Neither of us know what day it is, one of those afternoons before December that never really rises and I am keeping the lights on just so I can promise myself that you're not really here.
You see, I get the usual 'I can't breathe without you around', but I can't float, even with you standing over me.
I lead-lined my lungs with both our insecurities, tied my tongue so that I can only make my eyes speak. I can't cope with mourning the lost words that hang in the air everywhere other people have been and I choke on you every time I speak.
And my bones break like insecure scaffolding every time I stand,
they tell me I weighed myself down with all these useless metaphors,
that they never had all four feet on the ground.
You pushed me off balance. My joints could never hold out long enough to hold the both of us up. My bones are like the wood that didn't get enough water:
I break under your touch. I crack when you speak.
You're still telling me you're leaving.
grace beadle 2013
Aug 2013 · 1.5k
Long time coming
g Aug 2013
When I get here, don't ever ask me to leave.
I'm not saying I won't ever leave just that I can make up my own mind
and I've been a long time coming
and you can pack my bags for me if that's what you want,
I was never one for folding,
for folding,
for folding creases,
for creasing folds down the middle like I was waiting to be split in two,
I am waiting for you to split me in two,
split me in two,
split me in two,
cut me in half and all you will find are mirrors.
Your face staring back at you. Jagged edges so I could feel you from the inside out,
feel you,
feel you,
finally feel you.
I've been knocking at your door,
staring through your windows every time I had your door shut in my face,
knocking on your walls,
knocking down your walls,
cracking your safe so that you know
when the sky seems like the most solid thing around you,
that you are always a porch light.
You are a struck match, a roaring flame and I am orange, fully open,
I can always be your accident.
You are the oldest thing in the universe made new for me,
a lens,
my left hand,
my right hand,
my arms, clutching hold of my wrists
so I can feel your heartbeat in my fingers,
your pulse a busker, singing only for me when the clocks have stopped and the lights turned out
and we've been waiting at this door for too long.
And I'm just stuck at my boarding gate,
halfway across the world and you're still dragging behind
like it's all too fast
and all I can tell myself is that I would always drown in you.
I will always choke on your words so I can taste them in my mouth,
taste you in my mouth, like a warzone,
taste everything you've ever said, ever been.
I will make up my own mind. I will keep you in mind.
Keep me in your mind like a cemetery.
I'm a long time coming.
grace beadle 2013
Aug 2013 · 2.5k
g Aug 2013
There is a 93 year-old man. He has been driving for years
trying to unlock his lover's jaw
it is stuck tight with the thoughts which have become lost somewhere
near the back of her head.

He thinks about the mist in her eyes, how once they were islands.
She was a child surrounded by the sea. He was a soldier.
Sat next to two bombs they both went off,
when he met her
he told everyone he was the luckiest man alive. They were stranded together.

Now he drives around the Hebrides. Thinks about the summer
when the ferries stopped, they ate nothing but salted fish.
He is desperate for her to remember. Somedays she does.
The winter he met her father her family
had never seen an Englishman before. It was so bleak.
She only used to wear shoes when the snow fell like an apology,
now her feet are so lost they barely carry her
from bedroom, to bathroom, to window.
She looks out over walled gardens, everything she once had was an open space.

She tells me about the day he came home from the army.
Threw his pistol in the bin
like he could ever throw the war away
I think of the irony: a man trying to throw the pieces of his life away
that he could never forget. Now all he can do is look
through flesh and heartbreak
and too many stories to tell.
All the addresses in his book, like they're not just bricks and bones
and nursery rhymes
like it's all falling down now
through curtains
and IED's breaking through bodies over screens.
Like a train crash.
Like a house fire changing everything you know
holding it to your chest like it's more than ash.
More than this.
Looking out on a bank holiday wondering what goes on
behind all those closed doors
counting all the things you miss.

I would give up sleep for you.
I would live my life five hours behind.
I would spend my inheritance money.
I would leave like breaking in the morning
just slip out through the door.
I would swim the ocean, loose my body to the current
like a broken bottle frayed and battered until I was all green frosting and smoothed edges
and opaque.
I would wash up on your shore.

I would drive for miles. I would purpose build.
I would tear up the books, rewrite them with your name
over and over, out though the skies,
climb up through the atmosphere
paint the moon with your face.
Loose myself to gravity. Just give me something to blame.
Give me water. Give me tidal waves. Give me ocean hearts,
your storm-wall, ocean heart, breaking-wave kisses
wear me down gently.
Tell me your life story. Write me into it.

Remind me when I forget who I am,
even, when you have nothing else to give.
Take me home.
Tell me something true.
Pin me on your chest like a buttonhole,
wear me to your wedding.
Show me off
like I was ever something to be admired.
grace beadle 2013
g Jul 2013
I was shy, my crooked-teeth, glowing front didn't fool anybody.
I was the type of awkward that made people run.
You were a typewriter: an electric storm sewing letters together,
ornate, pretending your weaving was something
that could ever be taught.
You wrote about all my wrongs.
Asked me to meet your mother.
Told me my drinks were too sweet, you were surprised I had ever
been drunk I wrote something cliche,
like how no sugar could ever match up to your coffee stained tongue,
to me you were so sweet.
I never liked poetry that rhymed.
I wanted to be someone without talking to other people,
hoped everyone would read me like a trans-Atlantic love letter,
understand every back street tragedy,
I am still learning that nobody
could ever memorise me like a paragraph. I am a closed museum.
I am breathing.
Once, I was a bundle, placed on my mother's chest.
She told me when I was born I didn't even cry,
just looked at the world like I'd been here before,
already figured her out. Carefree breathing.
She said she'd never seen anything so small
but so alive.
Sometimes I wonder if I've grown down.
I cry too much.
When I was eight my mother told me it was because I have sensitive skin..
I think about why we don't remember birth,
there are more traumatic things that happen than becoming alive.
My mother carried me nine months,
I wish I knew her reaction when she realised she was having a baby alone,
when I was six weeks old she flew us 8981 miles from my birthplace of Perth
to her childhood, a suburban, three bedroom house.
She bought a return ticket. Eighteen years on she still carries that
yellowed british airways paper around with her in her purse.
They left her job open for years.
I stopped asking if she missed the heat.
I stopped asking about half of my heritage,
I say the most convincing thing when people ask now,
I don't think I mind.
I haven't cried for months.
I grew up where the city begun to fall in love with the countryside
there was nature pulling itself out of the concrete,
like ignoring love hurts could make it any more feasible.
There was a girl, she never used to knock on my unlocked fire door,
just walked straight in every time, like she was a wildfire,
made me feel triumphant inside,
I wonder even now if that is how plant shoots feel when they break through the earth
praying upwards to the sun,
like she isn't a pin-*****,
do you think the sun knows how relevant she is,
just like some of us can't grasp how irrelevant we all are?
Have you ever thought about how many things are in existence that we can't see?
The distances can only be measured in time,
time is just a concept. We are more than numbers.
But nothing was built for us.
I wonder
if when my mother held her recycled baby against her reusable chest
if she realised that
either of us could have ever come to this.
grace beadle 2013
Jul 2013 · 2.9k
g Jul 2013
She is Sunday service love letters written in the centrefold
of a hymn book.
A coffee stain smile hiding the words of my favourite pages
of poetry that sits every night next to my bed.
This is my doomsday notebook rolled into the edges of cut off jeans
and you were my judgement day,
standing on the edge of a cliff pretending that my life didn't depend on it
in that second,
depend on me.

She is my Maundy Thursday:
give away everything I own like I can live with nothing.
Live like I don't exist anymore.
Leave without a trace like burning,
because that's how I am when I don't remember you now.

Sitting in my bedroom with the lights turned out
you moving next to me like dancing with the covers off.
She promised me Saturday nights and feather dreaming
and now all I can do is this.
She told me the next evening:
'so many of these boys are clueless, I really hope I'm not'
I tell her 'I don't think you are
She says I'm down to earth.
I think she is too when her head isn't stuck above the clouds
there are things I would give to see what she sees
when she looks down.

I want to talk about gods with her.
I want to know if every medicated son of god complex really was
a head case
or simply someone trying to finally send us down something good,
like we pretend we would see it when it happens.
Someone tell me how people
can paint the sky with their guts and the broken dreams of strangers
and call it religion.
How can these gods hate any kind of love?

Tell me why you wanted to die the year before you were a teenager.
How you're still trying five years on like you can't face
the seven months before you become an adult.
I don't know if you're terrified of real life
or being a child,
or if you still sweat in the middle of the night at thoughts
of an incarcerated man's hands touching your innocent body
like it was ever supposed to know what to do with itself.
Your body a haunted house, breaking from the cracks
you left in yourself.

You couldn't leave your own ghosts out.
Is this why 'god' lets you be so afraid of living in your own skin?
that you will dice yourself into pieces
praying for bad fate for once, tonight,
you're out of luck this time honey.

I'm sorry I don't know what to say to you nowadays,
I just don't want you to be all my fault.
I'm sorry I can't talk to you like I used to, like I didn't know
you were a time bomb
but I can't pretend you didn't light your own fuse,
because all you feel is leaking out the lines you left in your own skin.
I find it hard to believe you will ever actually detonate,
but I am more than over prepared for any hint of explosion:
buried my head in a glass case,
pretend that whiskey could ever take away the pain
like you were barrel aged.
So go ahead
knock yourself out.
I can pretend I didn't feel anything like you did all those years.

You sit, breathing in the last shreds of sunset like the sun reclining could make you any more alive I tell you
just stop trying.

You are a painting.
Da Vinci,
3 years on,
no idea of your own beauty.
Your glazed surface
isn't cracked yet.
You are a work of art waiting to be fully formed.
Paints hand-made, every brush stroke a sacrifice,
you're more than this oil
not an acrylic, he can't paint out your mistakes.
Tell me how does it feel to be the pigment in your lips does it feel like home?
Can you see me?
How does it feel to hang all those years
do you forget every face?
Can you hear what I'm trying to tell you
for once?

If you see her, can you tell her:
I only wish I could have captured her on film
before she left
grace beadle 2013
g Jul 2013
If I could find a way to capture
the exact essence of you,
believe me I would.
And if I could find a way to modify the base pair sequences
which code my DNA
so that I would be
the person you wanted,
believe me I would.
But I cannot portray you,
because I do not know exactly what you are
or who you are,
or why you are.
And I cannot be the person
you wish that I would be,
because you will not let me inside the bullet proof shell
of your head.
So I will let it be enough, watching you
strut around streets pretending that these things
are really all you want,
when you are, in reality, almost dreaming of beaches and cliffs
and people
who I have never met
and who I will never be,
and I suppose
I will just have to pretend to be okay with that.
grace beadle 2013
Jul 2013 · 3.2k
An apology
g Jul 2013
You spirit, you alcoholic, you drunken mess, fermented, broken down inside yourself; your molecules attach to my brain cells and start work, and I only drink to forget her now,
and the six months I only allowed you three-figure counted-calorie days.
I am sorry
for those weeks I refused to associate you with my name
until you were all collarbones and ribs like stairs to walk upon and sharp elbows
to push everyone else away.
I etched my lack of hunger into my skin for everyone to see but you told me differently
until I taught myself to listen.
I am sorry for the photo albums strewn underneath my clothes
which cause apologies every time I shed these white t-shirt uniforms,
I guess neither of us were thinking straight at the time.
Others assume I am looking for a nighttime sympathy vote
like someone else's hands could ever make any of this any better.
Sorry for putting you through those too-tight YouTube videos,
the sped up heartbeat at the mention of an ace bandage,
I apologise for ignoring you when I realised that this chest was just too girly
to ever justify attempting to hide.
I am sorry that I ever thought I would feel more at home in you if you were a guy.
I shouldn't have apologised for you all those times
like being a woman was ever your fault.
I know that it was wrong to punish you for entering double figured clothes sizes,
"it's just a number baby" and that ain't anything to be ashamed of.
If you were still a size eight you wouldn't look like branches wrapping around yourself
like an infinity symbol, it's kind of ironic really,
the way you curve under these clothes for such a lined little number,
then pretend because your legs know each other that your frame has something to be sorry for?!
How could I ever think because you held something as important as my brain
I could ever subject you to something as minuscule as a goal weight?
Your carbon comes from the stars and they are as beautiful as it gets,
and you, are so kind to me.
I punish you for never hitting five foot
when it was my own nicotine mistakes and mystery genetics that caused
this obsession with tall, and legs,
and why I question every day if I have an inferiority complex
because people assume I am up to seven years younger than my age.
I am sorry for the envy when I see those sugar cane girls walk past,
as if having more leg could make me any more sweet.
I am sorry that he thought I was more than your flesh and bones,
and I subjected myself to it
like a boy was what we needed to make us better
I know now that we were both so wrong.
But when the tangled 'I love you' got stuck in my throat you were the only thing left there,
and we were so young, you taught me how to choke back my words,
but I know now why you just weren't that into him.
And they sure told me:
"You pathetic excuse for a girl for falling into that,
you were so young didn't anybody ever tell you
he just wanted you to feel something?
Turned sour when you ended it,
you spent all those nights wasting your breath.
Why are you so confused?
You punish yourself when you knew this was all your fault,
you drag your broken body like she was anything to do with this,
you know why you're so small,
you stunted her out of any dream of height and
legs like envy
and 5'5" at a push they told you
but you wouldn't let yourself grow.
Why aren't you honest you've lost all of your friends,
why are you blaming this all on your body?
burying secrets like bones under your skin and flesh
that makes you a dog. You smell like dirt.
You smell like dirt and smoke and wasted breaths.
Like wasted breaths and all those skipped meals are coming back to you now,
you're still fat.
Fat like you can't carry yourself,
you can't carry your emotions any more,
they are draining off the ploughed chest she left you with
give them up,
dig them up,
cut them out like they can't stay inside anymore.
Stop trying to remove yourself from your own body like you
could ever scratch yourself out,
like she was something that ever belonged to you,
then send an apology to your flesh and bones,
oh, give it up you hypocrite nobody's falling for your ****."
So I tell her:
"I still see beauty in the way you move in that mirror"
and so I write her an apology letter.
grace beadle 2013
-this is mainly an observation
Jul 2013 · 700
61 days
g Jul 2013
Alone in the early hours
I feel
the warmth
of the shape of your body
next to me.
Are you thinking of me too or am I
simply dreaming
of trying you on for size?
grace beadle 2013
g Jul 2013
4.30am and she is trying to speak to god like she believes he exists.
Bleeds like she is trying to speak to the stars,
when all she wants is to get further lost in herself,
I wish this girl was mine but she's not.
I can see his hands now on the back of her neck, contrasting skin
the angle at which she holds her head
like she's dancing,
she's not.
He's not even there.
I have never been jealous like this before
but I can see it in the way she looks at me
that he is not exactly what she wants
like I was.
Maybe I should give her a name:
tree trunks trembling towards the ground like they're trying to get back home;
flowers thriving on the dirt made from your mother's bones;
the song I still sing to myself every time I am terrified of the lights turned out;
my names are too long. I have too many words written about her.
I couldn't even tell you about a reflection in her eyes without writing a ******* poem about it.
I just want her to dance,
to dance with me like I am a ghost and she is the last person left on this earth,
like a storm wrapping itself entirely around a streetlight,
like cracked eggs leaking what could have been into the dust,
her telling me I came on too strong,
too soon
too fast.
I just didn't want to lie to her.
She absorbed all my blood sugar,
left me shaking and sour,
"just let me sleep all night",
I will pretend I'm simply exhausted,
let me try and act like this didn't happen,
let me attempt to act normal around you,
let's pretend you didn't ***** all those lies on me
after you kicked me to the ground.
At least I was honest.
I don't think about you like I used to,
but when the rain is tapping my window like it wants to come inside and make a friend,
it is only masking the glaring silences you forgot to take with you
when you left me that night.
At least I was honest.
But I never told her that she was my church,
my last crumpled cigarette stuffed into my backpack whispering:
"they'll never find you here,"
praying to you that we would be something more,
like midnight movies,
4am ballrooms,
ringing ears after a concert,
like I heard you,
ringing through telephone lines after you left me,
you only ever called after you forgot it was my birthday.
You only cared when it was convenient,
when we were away from prying eyes,
when he was nowhere to be found,
do not try and deny it,
I am not stupid you know.
I am not blessed with numbers,
I do not know anything about the meaning of life,
or the behaviour of protons,
but I can mix colours and take a good photo
sometimes I write,
I still don't know what a poet is though.
I can only see that she moves like these words write themselves,
and she speaks like music bleeding through a closed window,
I swear I am still cracked.
The day that I left she never even said goodbye,
though I still have tattoos left from the tips of her fingers on those heavy handed nights,
I swear,
they didn't even sting.
grace beadle 2013
g Jul 2013
You were my star amongst the stars, my own solar system inside my eyes.
Hand you the knife and I'll let you cut out my insides,
create the universe from my cells so I can be so absorbed in you
I am no longer myself.
Let me be what you want.
I know that I am faded
but if you let me
I will chain myself to the insides of your ribcage
protect your heart, because we both know all it controls is the rate
at which your blood flows,
and all it has ever known
is to push everything it has ever met away,
so it is a constant but with nothing of its own
I guess that's the biggest break.
Show me importance the same way I used to see it
I wanna know every single one of your secrets,
watch your eyes flicker on the train
as you lose yourself to back gardens and brick built barriers,
letting yourself inside the subtleties of a strangers life.
Leave your bad days on my pillow love
and I will never make the effort to wake up.
I will swallow your pictures whole
with no attempt to understand your charity shop bags
full of yesterday's thrown out dreams.
Punch me with your closed fist
and I will pretend it is your beating heart
they are the same shape, someone told me once,
I can think of nothing better than the embrace of your vitals and veins,
staple them to my chest so I can store the pain inside myself for future reference.
I can still remember the way your voice tasted those nights,
I counted each one of your heartbeats against my chest every evening we slept
to check you were still breathing,
that's how bad I wanted you to stay,
my hands lying inside your make believe
that you were feeding me,
I never knew what it was what I wanted from you,
and I never understood the languages you spoke in,
But I used to wish on those nights
that I was deep and dark and mysterious like the oceans
we both know you'd love to swim in
and I'd never have the courage to join you in.
Maybe if the things you had told me hadn't have been
as vast as that same ocean,
I wouldn't be trying to pick between pieces of broken glass,
trying to slice out the things which beat around inside my pulse
whenever I think about you.
grace beadle 2013
Jul 2013 · 703
g Jul 2013
You talk to me like I am stupid.
And somedays I worry that I am.
And sometimes I wish that my brain
would stop being over active
and simply let me concentrate
on important things
like the future,
and exams,
instead of convincing myself that you
are the only thing I have ever worked towards,
as I sit and trace over the lines
which form the curve of your lips
and work out exactly what light I would use
to suit the colour of your skin
and think about all the words I could use in
imaginary conversations
with you.
Maybe I am as clueless
as you make me out to be.
grace beadle 2013
Jul 2013 · 610
Notes on my insides
g Jul 2013
My brain is divided into two:
the left and the right
while part of me wants to
cling to you and beg
for you to come back,
what's left
wants to cut you out,
clean and precise
until all that's left of you
are the changing pieces of my skin
where our cells once rested.
All of me knows
that I would never have the courage to do either.
grace beadle 2013

— The End —