Feb 25
Rose L

I feel much heavier these days
I sleep a lot, and I paint with browns
Light ochre and soft greys
You tell me that's what you've noticed, anyway.
I forget to do my nails, and leave my hair up
Let it grow out and longer than it suits me.
Sometimes you tell me things have changed and tightly hold my hands -
I laugh and pretend I don't understand.
I used to read a lot, read to you -
Anything I found, poetry and song lyrics
And books I'd bought, or old ones that i'd suddenly see anew
when I'm seeing you,
over the top of the pages
Sitting opposite me crossed legged
Mimicking my voice
Laughing till we're both lightheaded.
Years ago you used to replace the flowers in my bedroom every morning
I told you to stop and that lilies were getting boring.
Today I got up extra early and painted my nails fuschia-pink
And cut big handfuls of daisies for the vase above the kitchen sink
When you came down from bed I looked at you over the pages of my book and said
"Remember this?

 Feb 25

you exhaust me
in the morning
where sunlit  window is in
terrible           defense

empathy is      an open house
come on in,     patients
you've got       the front door
as sicknesses   seep to me

 Oct 2016

I know why I love horror films
I just never say it.
I love them
Because I am tortured by feelings
By empathy
By kindness
And I'm looking to learn
The kind of safety that comes with ruthlessness.
I'm looking to glance up just for one second into my own eyes in a mirror
And see nothing at all behind them.
Just once.
I think people who love as hard as I do always long to feel nothing.

 Feb 2016
Julia Elise

I think my lips are chapped because I've kissed so many boys who don't love me.
You ask me 'what do you taste like?' I don't think its very sexy to say regret and sadness.
You say 'when can I taste you' My taste has been passed around so many tongues there is nothing left for you.

He tells me 'I'm here for you, I'll always be here for you' as he kisses my neck. The next week the bite mark on my belly is fading and I can barely remember the colour of your eyes.

My sister says 'you will change your mind' she says, 'all woman want to be mothers'.
I have stumbled in at 4am with the taste of strangers in my throat to see my mother sitting upright waiting for me, I think of the night I spent crying on my mothers lap in a&e;, certain I couldn't make it through the day, the way my brother scowls at my mother, my sister telling her that 'you could've done more, you could've walked away.' I. Dont. Want. Children.

My mum tells me she is old, she is tired. She desperately needs a man to hold doors open for her and carry her shopping. I am trying to remember that needing someone does not mean you are weak.

My grandmother gave me waist beads to encourage fertility. She says 'god gave you those hips to birth children'. Ive never told her that i lost my faith in god the year i lost my virginity.  And if there is a god, i don't want his fucking fertility. I want to break these beads and let drugs engulf me to prove my grandmothers blind faith wrong.
I laugh and pray before our meal and kiss her forehead, 'god bless'.

He tells me 'i know youre horny, its natural'. I laugh and play along for his delight. 'women are just like toys, television, easy puzzles'. I think of my father beating my mother, my fathers face all the men ive walked past in the street. My mothers face is my own.

'if you don't want boys to touch you you shouldn't wear tight clothes'. I think of all the boys who have run their fingers over my back when i was dressed in clothes from neck to ankle. I wonder if god is a sexist man. I wonder if there's any men who aren't implicitly sexist.

He tells me, 'I'll spend hours on you, I'll make you believe in god again'. There is nothing I can do but laugh. I ask him, 'does your mother know you speak to girls like this?'
He sucks his teeth, 'do you always have to be so difficult?'  
I kiss him but I think of his mother, foreign and lonely, 2 sons and no husband.

He says 'you need a real man' I think of all the other boys who have told me that before leaving me.
He wants to know why I'm in hospital so much, 'how are we going love each other when you can't tell me what's wrong with you' I don't want to tell him that I've cut my arms so badly I can see god in my blood, and sometimes the voice in my head screams so loud I black out. I kiss his chest. He doesn't ask again. I resent him for that.

I've been ignoring my fathers phone calls for two weeks because his voice sounds like absence and I don't want to hear another 'I love you' from a man who doesn't know my secrets.

 Feb 2016

didn't i tell you?
we cannot escape darkness
while avoiding light

Now listen
 Jan 2016
rained-on parade


I’ve swallowed too many I love you’s
to be afraid of coughing up blood.
They cut you on secret.
Who knew it was drinking gasoline
and sawdust and every little inflammable thing
and then sitting down cross-legged
in the heart of a howitzer; soft.


You are a soft explosion.
You are streaks of a rebel orange
in a sky that is supposed to be blue.
You are steel rods in the curve of my spine,
holding me straight.


I love you’s are like death notes written in ash:
you’ll have to smoke your way to it.
Smoke cigarettes, journals, curtains,
and yourself to get that much ash in your lungs;
trying to blow smoke rings into your finger;
my ceiling knows more about my sadness than you do.


Saying an I love you once will have you
chanting “don’t leave me” on a rosary;
love will take your bones and leave you
lusting for somebody whose back
is the last thing you’ll see, and whose
skin you’ll think you left your keys in:
and now you’ve locked yourself out
of your own house, in a storm
whose sirens wail in your ears and remind
you, you’re hopeless and homeless.


I love you’s leave no exit wounds,
no shell casings, and when the time comes
you’ll be telling them all how his bullet
ricochets in your ribs,
but emotion never made up for evidence
in the court of settlements for a broken heart.


Telling someone you love them is like cutting your jugular
and not expecting to bleed out.


I love you like the pages of a mad girl’s journal.


The moon turns from an ally
to the haunting image of science and realisation:
you share the same sky, but no longer the same bed.
And astronomy keeps screwing you over
when you look up at the sky
and no longer understand constellations.


Love makes it more getting-back-at-you
than getting-back-together-with-you.


Every time you taste blood,
you’ll know you kissed somebody
with teeth like needles
and they cut you everywhere; they
bit you, they bit you, they bit you
and you kept letting them.

 Jul 2015

Nowadays I know
That I still exist
Even when you don't say goodnight.

 Jun 2015
Joshua Haines

I see how white light startles.
I snapped a pic and she spun in circles.
She wanted a photograph
to cover her mother's epitaph,
so she could have a laugh.

She smoked to get away -
but this isn't what'd she say,
exhaling, "All we are is carbon
and a lack of empathy."

We blended into hues of
microwave dinners
and church alters.
I used to tell her to go
just to halt her.

We prayed to get away -
but that's not what we'd say,
whispering, "Help us be more
than carbon and a lack of empathy."

 Jan 2015

There is something beautiful about two sad people who agree to hurt each other.
Something comforting.
It is a comfort only very damaged people understand- the tacit agreement to cause pain, and to receive it.
Pleasure is for people who have what they want.
But for those of us who are starving, ours is best peppered with suffering.
Being with someone who understands that carries its own worth-
I don't want you to make me feel good.
I couldn't stand it if you did.
I don't want you to touch me gently, or ask if I'm alright, or stop to look into my eyes.
I am starving, and so are you: I want your teeth.
I want you to make me hurt. And I want to hurt you.
I want you to hurt me because I'm not him, and I want to hurt you because you're not her.
We want to see each other suffer because we are starving and we need to feel that someone else is.
Don't hold back. I want you to lower me because I'm too good for her.
Don't love me, don't caress me. Dig your nails in. Drip candlewax on my stomach.
One step down from torture is all I can stand in the way of human connection, when it isn't her.
Punish me for looking at her like a baleful puppy tonight, even as you waited in my room with your soft skin and your sharp teeth.
There is nothing you can do that will be too violent, too brutal, too sadistic.
I don't want to be loved right now.
I am too raw.
I want to be touched. I want to be ruined. Leave marks. Smear lipstick.
Lower me because I am
Good for her.
Let this heart know on no uncertain terms that its needs don't matter.
Help me kill it. Help me pin my demons to the bed and make them writhe, and I will do the same for you.
Let's exorcise our loves tonight and banish them to hell.
Let's tell our skin that it is irrelevant.
Let's say "Fuck you" to the things that bind us. I will cut your heart out for him.
I will kiss your scars, not to heal them but to remind you that when you put them there you fought for something, something we both fight for now.
Hurt me. Fight her. Do it for her.
Do it for her because I'm not good enough to hurt.
Do it for her because I'm TOO good to hurt.
Crush me.
You could boil me alive and it wouldn't make up for her, so at least leave me bruised.  
I will give you what you need, and you will give me what I need: not love, but contact.
Let my heart know on no uncertain terms that its needs

There is something beautiful about two sad people who agree to hurt each other.

 Jan 2015

When I talk God I mean:

 Nov 2014
twelve caesuras

because i eat my words like a hearty meal
and vomit them out when no one is watching
i cut myself open because i want someone to
sew me back together, i don't care how haphazard the
stitching is as long as they make me alright

because i listen to the analog clock tick away the seconds
of my life, it kills me, you kill me, i kill me, for i am analogous to
wasted times and wasted lives, and potential being wasted on
the easier things, and being wasted

because i can't tell if the scratches on the wall are mine or
the demons trying to break through, burn themselves into
my skin, though they might have been there for a long time
i tried to get better, but better doesn't come for some

because the sweet-tasting wind blows and flowers grow on others but
tornadoes twist and i stay alone, a decomposing forest i call home
slivers of a silver soul, drowned and drowning gold in chrome

because i unravel like the strings
that hold together all of my things
i want someone to sew me back together, i
don't care how haphazard the
stitching is as long as
make me alright

 Nov 2014

There is only one
thing left to do now, never
see your face again.

 Oct 2014

I become afraid
of the sun -- I just wanted
love -- she burned me twice.

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