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& I thought
that the pink pills
would slide down
my throat
like ice cream
but I gagged
and choked

& I thought
that a footprint
vanished as
soon as
more snow

& I thought
that a
final prayer
howled from
within the
shaking temple
of my body
would set
me free

& I thought
I thought
I thought
that suicide
would be the
end of me

& yet it
birthed me
back into
the world

& my newly
weaved pink
skin slided
into a time
before into a
a narrative
that was
on reflection
this year has held more grief than joy
but grief and joy and be held
in the same palm of your hand
and blossom into a new bloom of hope
it’s okay if all you did was survive
next year will be your year
to thrive
Belated as it got stuck in my drafts folder.
another black coffee at 2am

willing myself awake
when I can’t sleep

it is in the whisperings
of the stars

that I hear my name,
spoken softly

not in your voice

no, not in your voice

I love you for the dark corners
where the dust settles

the way you bend your arm
tho cocoon my head when it
is heavy

they say that love is complex,
that it is an architecture that we
build with our bare hands, fingers
in the dirt

and I don't know if I believe that,
because it seems so simple to me,
that we have built our story on a
foundation of angles
I unfold in the Summer.
I collapse, piece by piece
into myself

I stare at the ceiling for days,
else pace the floorboards
getting splinters in the soles
of my feet

I mix a drink over the plate filled sink, I don't take care of the basics.
Washing, cleaning...

I neglect it all. I stick to drinking gin from ***** mugs. I was drunk then and I don't think I've sobered up

a decade of paint striper and counting coppers, of wine soaked breath and flinching

sometimes I eat. Swelling my stomach with half baked bread. Too hungry to let it rise

I stand, stock still, under the moon. A whisper between man and man. A backfiring car. A memory...

it still hurts sometimes, when I move. So I wear cotton. Do fabrics have innocence? Do colours?

lemon and orange. No more siren red

(I spread)

He must have loved you, they say to me now. People only **** the ones they love

or the pretty ones

(and I am not a pretty one)
The girl that wept beside you
still cries out into the darkness

steel tears that cling to her cheeks

as if shedding them will somehow lessen the weight of her heart

beating now. against a barrier of bones

grieving, howling beneath
a full moon

for what she had with you
I said
'I miss you'
and I meant

but time
does not

and the
world pulses
on around

too bright
and too

the beginnings
of panic
when your
pillow is

the way
my heart

each valve
faulty as
if disease

is wrapped
around my

I see your
face in the
night sky

a full moon
glowing over
empty streets

in the stars
that swell
and shrink

I am looking
for you

I am the
waves of
the ocean

back to
There can be no absolution
for the things I’ve done

yet you do not talk of revenge or retribution

you forgive, too easily
(or maybe I believe, too easily)

lulled into a false sense of security

maybe I will pay one day
offer a vial of my blood to a faceless God

break my bones down
until they are a pile of dust

dust that you can scatter, like ashes
pretending I was good once, kind, considerate

a girl a million miles away for the one
wielding the knife over your best friend’s heart

yes, there were mitigating circumstances
but very few victims actually **** their ******

I mean, that’s wrong. They all should, really,
and get away with it.

because people like that have given up
their right to live

**** is ****** in a way,
except you wake up…

to **** these animals is self defence,
reclaiming, asserting yourself that
you will NOT be a ******* victim

that there can be only one survivor in this
and that’s you
There is air to breathe, now
with daylight
creeping through
yellowed glass
One acid drop and I...

hallucinate the buildings
into beaches, the pavement
into the ocean

where we swam
naked, under stars,
whispering about
the hungry sky,

taking prisoners
of fire. You spoke
of the hierarchy
of flame, graded
by colour

(white flame is the hottest)

I placed a knife into the
hot white and passed it
onto you,

heard your flesh sizzle,
smelt your hair burn

killing the cells that touched me, plunged into my soft *******, pulled out my heart and stamped all over it
Exit wounds,
the holes in my hands
that bleed, trickling down

an offering to God
a rallying call
to arms

I am Adam
biting the apple
the flesh of that fruit
the closest thing
to Hell

(and I am heading, heading there)

they ask me if I meant it
as if meaning means something
more than it does, when words can exist without it

here are the facts of me
(I say)

I have never broken a bone
I don't eat red meat and
I counted out each pill

it would be less ugly
to find me this way
than slit and gaping
in the bath

I was careful (too careful)
the first time

still, you learn by living
from not

dying. Death, I name my

hands that throttled the throats
of a thousand men, the ones
I destroyed with my hips

(that was before)

I knew the taste of thirty Aspirin

this time
this time
this time

I'll survive if they kick me hard enough
if they call my name loud enough
if the doctor writes furiously enough

I am not enough.
This is where it starts;
my head resting on a cold floor
carpeted, but rough

the noise of a full kitchen
seeping in through the door
like the orange light from streetlamps
hitting a wet pavement

I can’t hear your voice
until it’s in my

***** soaking your
tongue so that the
words sound thick
and heavy

slurred in a way
that makes my
brain flinch

now those words
are being force-fed
from your mouth
into mine

choking, lungs
filling up with
liquid letters

coughing, kicking

I’m drowning and
you know it

so I let my legs
straighten and

close my eyes
and try to feel the
scratching of the fabric
beneath my hair
The days blend together
in the way that coffee
blends with milk, and tea
with sugar

licking the spoon
clean, white spots
that blister
in your mouth

books stand around
like lay figures

two weeks overdue
and full of dead
things, creatures
that have nestled
between the leaves

that have bitten
the dust

the pages are stiff
to turn, starched
spines that creak
beneath fingers

the days blend together
and I sit, drinking tea
between the cracks
and falling into words
I'll never read

They called us

but I knew you would always
find me

a voice that pushed
through the darkness

with a thunderous roar
if I needed it

or in a whisper lighter
than air


They said that the sharing of graves
was archaic

like a hand still clasping  
a pocket watch

but we had our names down
for a plot



We'd been writing epitaphs with pencils
until they let us use pens

on plastic chairs that creaked
with the slightest touch

hands hidden inside black sweaters
legs like shaking magnets

desperately defying



In this child's theater
we sat watching

attendance assemblies
and merits

being handed out by shapes
we'll forget when we're



Now we're older we get Shakespeare
and musicals

the noise is louder now
and easier to crawl under

we pretend to understand
the complexities of the words

to take meaning from

that feelings are more
than just a hand on a heart


Instead we rise
from our seats

red plush velvet that
smells of forgotten stories

believing more than ever
in that childish love

from years ago
gauge out my eyes
never let me dream

of you again

you’ll only fade away
again anyway
At five, we dragged
sticks along railings
and walls

holding hands
carelessly, obliviously,
without knowing we
were linking our
hearts forever

then we were ten,
twenty, forty...

the years doubled
then doubled

we're eighty

milk white hands
like chalk

ice palm meeting
ice palm

yet still
we smile,
faces cracked

At five, we dragged
sticks along railings
and walls

holding hands
carelessly, obliviously,
without knowing we
were linking our
hearts forever

then we were ten,
twenty, forty...

the years doubled
then doubled

we're eighty

milk white hands
like chalk

ice palm meeting
ice palm

yet still
we smile,
faces cracked

I spy
a split back
dress, blanched
skin, from where
I sit

That used to be me,
with your hair
in delicate knots and your
knees creeping out from
under your skirt

When did I stop
shaving my legs?

I let myself
go, drift away in the
same way that cats will
wonder away from
their home to

As memories claw
grasping and teasing
with black and white
photographs of a girl,
a butterfly that
reverted back
to a larva
you smell of cigarettes
and brandy,
and I breathe it down
as if it is the purest air
I have ever known,

my nose bleeds, eventually,
and yet I do not blame you,

for in your eyes I see
the fire in my own,
the fury and rage that longs
to burn down buildings that have
stood tall for hundreds of years,

out of spite and jealously,
that our passion will barely last
a hundred seconds
I am struck
by lightning
every time
our fingers

I drink the
wine of your
as if I were
an alcoholic,
desperate for
that first sip
of liquor

knowing it
is destroying
their organs,
but unable to
stop reaching for
the bottle, or

the flesh
Your name has lingered
Too long on my lips
Bruised and chapped
Turning blue as the
Summer passes
Skipping autumn
Into winter
Where I am always
Hungry and
Wondering streets
That are endless
Yet lit only
In the middle
I hear your
Cry in my ear
And turn
To my face
To nothing
The taste of you
Still warms me
but I am
outside looking
in on a bed
freshly made
white cotton
and I don’t know
how to look
away from
like a lion in winter,
our love is proud,

but its dignity has been
chipped away by challenges,

we had great strength,
but age was not on our side,

we met in the autumn of our lives,
and knew we did not have


as younger lovers often talk about
so childishly, as if time is merely
there for you to tell it what you want
of it,

no, we knew, we knew

we had little time,

so make the best of it, you said

and we did,

there were no kisses in the rain,
or midnight wine under the stars,

but I think we were happy,

yet now, adversity has ripped us apart
at the seems, and left us threadbare,

no more or less than anyone,
but we didn't weather it well,

all I want is our winter,
to grow old with you,
to die with you,

I think we still have it is us,
I think we will be okay,

but pride is a deadly sin,
so please don't let us
feelings are in flux,
the constant motion
of a wheel turning
in my mind

I do not know
when I wake
what number
the hand on
this endless clock
will be pointing to

I feel like a ghost
walking the Earth,
as if I woke up
one day and left
my body behind me

am I really alive?
was I ever really alive?
I conjure you, out of yellowed newspapers and matches.
I come to recognise the scent of you, through which you untie the core of me. I swallow you down as the hoards devour religions. People banging on the doors of churches. Swallowed up by scripture. I wanted to see God, caught between your teeth. To cut out your Adam's apple and place it
between my lips. Consuming your masculinity with a single, careless kiss. Anatomy's foundations rocking like an antique chair. Stripped wood that still sings of trees, chopped down in their prime.
This destruction of youth that should sicken me, thrills me to my trembling bones. Each blade of gentle green grass,  grows in the sunlight and I pick
each daisy as carefully as I pick from the throng of young men that hound me. Voices ringing, reaching, touching
silk sheets, glistening with sweat. I lick the knife, metal caressing metal, blood on steal.

I am ready to receive him.
All rivers run to
the sea, but we play
on their banks
like children,
threading daisies
through our fingers,
grass staining our nails
killing time with knitted
knees, we sit
toes dipped into
the water, cooling
the prickled heat
of our skin
Hearts beat, still
when souls have been
stamped out

surrounded by plucked
flowers that have barely

a garden of green stems
and sorrow is all that
is left

shattered glass that
pierces your flesh

a blood offering
is all that is left
What mysterious still lurk in human bones,
what demons remain hidden, waiting, waiting
to pounce

and what Angels too, sing from muscled cages
tongues dipped in honey

what answers lay hidden in blood,
a flash of silver away from being

does my heart beat out a song or a warning

do my pink lungs map out a battle
or tell the secrets of everlasting life

It is life, she reminded herself,
when the moon shone black

Always life
splits us

like the parting
of the sea

waves of longing
rippling between
my heart and yours

crashing against
the rocks of our souls

shattering like glass

we were holding
back the flood

learning how to navigate
the ocean

with a compass
in our arm

like a needle supplying us
with the sweetest of drugs

it was love
(always love)
a man without a gun
can still ****

with a word or without
an unsaid goodbye

to plunge a knife into a chest
pierces a heart and leaves it bleeding

a pool of crimson settling around
his feet

he will move away
when it gets too close to his toes

repulsed, not by his act
but by his lover's final offering

that means nothing to him
It’s a fallacy, ‘to be or not to be’
actors strutting and pouting across
a stage, their black shoes burning
holes into the painted wood,

Their words lacking conviction
each action, merely an action,
but it’s what they have to work with
that holds the key, he secret ecstasy,
The escape route from Hell

Knowing that, given the choice,
‘to be’ is not where the scales will
settle. We are wanderers clutching
at straws of adventures, but we will
pick the short one, eventually

Where then do we go? When there is
no ladder made of gold to climb.
no pearly gates nor a wizardly,
kindly face

‘The play’s the thing’
wherein we catch
the conscious of
I feel like we've been walking
these streets forever. My hand
in yours, my heart beating like a
****** clock, the smell of ***,
Marlboro and Mayfair
kissing my collar

I inhale the perfume,
the chemical reactions of
our flesh touching, feel the
electricity shoot through my

Exhale slowly, letting the breath
linger on my lips for a second
the air between our mouths
glows red with hunger

But we're not giving it up
A memory of you reaches out
a hand,

floating to the top of my
consciousness as if the
layers of time
are water

in it, you are
smiling and picking
currants out of scones

the flour that dusts
your fingertips touches
me, unawares

we are sharing sugar
between lips and

in that kiss I knew
we were sinking

sinking down between
the wavers of flesh
and moans

to be shipwrecked
with you, was a

but now I am



falls back through my memories,
ripples of remembrance that ache
in agonising sweetness,
an echo of a time when sunbeams
danced off your face,
in twilight dreams, I walk these streets
of past joys and past pains,
tasting the black cherries from your Cupid
that stained my lips red, a template for your kiss,
the day I dropped anchor in
your heart
I live in dreams of desecrated graves

destruction and decay slipping into my hand
like a pearl

ocean born, ocean bound
my heart, a crashing wave

when it senses your smile
secret, meant only for me

and I would not share it with another
even if they tore my fingernails out

it is our code
and only

my prize
and only
angel eyes,
glance my way
survey how my arms
twist in delight
at the mention of
your name
take in each detail
of my freckles and hair
my haggard heart
has kept its beats warm
for you, kept itself going
for the promise of one
more kiss

angel eyes,
you have the devil
inside you
I used to think
angels were
a symbol
of protection

of hope
and light
and peace

but I have seen
angels with teeth
bared like

hungry for blood
(my blood)
and willing to rip
flesh from

in their desperate
primal urge

I have seen angels
walk me into
a busy road
of traffic

and have me
lay on the

I have seen angels
pour “just one

drink down
my throat

no, angels
do not
protect you

when they are
the manifestation
of your
I moved here for
anonymity, a peck of
dust, they promised,
where to look too long
at anyone, is to look
too long at
I thought about the body I have hated all my life

I asked it “what will it take?”

Less food
More food
More puke
More pills
More miles
Less stones

It never answers, so I was surprised to hear a whisper this time...

“It will take kindness, acceptance, love...

You have to love me, darling. You have to let go.”
crawl over my skin
at night

biting into my flesh
******* blood until I am lying

pale and motionless
too weak to reach out a hand

yet, who would help me?

no one came, then
why would they now

they would rather see me smothered
by invisible hands
thighs left bruised by invisible fingers

too ashamed to speak it’s name
too ashamed to look

all you have the guts to do is
turn your face away
and pray

“Please, next time God, not me…”
My eyes open and
it starts,

insect like creatures
walking over my

each foot fall
falling in an

tap, tap,

tapping, the inside
of my skull


knock, knock,
he is always there,

is it a he? It must be
from the way he

twisting his limbs
into irregular

patterns that bend
and change the
harder you look
at them.

In a fluid moment,
the kiss of a shape
shifter catches
my lips,

I am thirsty, now,
desperate to drink
something over than
my own acidic

I pace pavements,
laces dragging, catching
stones in the soles of
my broken shoes,

the ground shakes,
threatening to open

but still I keep
moving, as I am
eaten, insides

claws pulling,
jaws looming.

I walk, blind and
bloodied, fighting
gravity with my
bare hands

as the world buckles
beneath me, the
very roots of the Earth
bending beneath
my feet as I am

swallowed whole
you trick my senses

into believing you are here

when really

we have never been so far

guilt gathers my thoughts to you

it is still -
as a lake in high summer,

no breeze to ripple
the surface of the water,
glistening brilliant blue
under the clear skies reflection,

birds are singing overhead,
I long for their freedom and song,

but then they turn on me,
and peck at these thoughts

until they come apart,

a piñata heart,

split wide - crimson rivers of
holy wine running from my chest

into your cup.

it is your turn, now,

so drink me down,

bleed me dry as I have you,

let me shrivel up and die -


like the woman you think I am,

I will do that for you,

I can do that for you,

(at least)
the pit of my stomach
is like the black pit of Hell

they say;
“she eats men like you for breakfast”

but they never say
where they go once they have been


(un) settling like lava
that has erupted from a volcano of


my belly rounded with regret

I carry the bodies of my enemies,
kicking and screaming, inside me

they will never see daylight,
and I will burn beneath it

curled up in agony,
the price of my insatiable appetite
I grew up with
an apple tree,
growing right in front
of my door

each year,
they would swell,
bright red skin
stretching around
white flesh

my grandfather
would pick the
sweetest and
hold it out
to me

saying how sad
he felt when he held
me before my mother
had named me

how I never believed
in Santa and liked
to lick the lemon
pips off his fingers
when he made

I was growing up
so fast, he'd say,
but my roots
would always sleep
beneath his feet
with the apple tree
Buildings have a language,
bricks laid with weathered hands
that once bake bread in their
Grandmother's kitchen, new face
wrinkled with kindness and

the stones have stories
of wars, battles fought with
swords, blood blooming from
chests like flowers that have
been tendered with careful
green fingers,

walls rattle with memories.
whispers of forgotten love
that raged like wildfire for
a year, then died like summer
when autumn came and swept
away it's leaves in a red carpet
of indifference,

we cannot simply tear them down,
these bricks, these stones, these walls,
turn them into dust and blow them
into the sky, for then to catch on clouds
before scattering like ashes into the ether

we must love them, keep them,
treasure each crack, each nook
and cranny,

as if our lives, too, are
the very foundations
of castles

or the simplest
wishing well
It's just a shadow of the past
he says

So how come every morning
light seeps like blood through
the curtains, forcing my body
to turn and face the house
guest that's supposed to have
run its lease

It's a part of me now,
like some small spot
you notice in the mirror
one day and keep
picking, picking, picking
at until it's red and
bloated and fit to

You have a pimple
the doctor says
you've been picking at it
for the last five years but
your nails were never allowed
to grow long enough to get
a good grip on it

And the scent of the ward
wonders off my clothes
through my nose
as I sit there and listen

I've tried soap and
bleach and caustic soda
but madness has its own perfume
its own way of clinging to
your skin long after your name's
been rubbed off the whiteboard

I'm drifting in and out of
dreams now that I've left his
office, waiting for the train
to take me back to my
husband and kids who will
smell where I've been
the moment the front door
shuts behind me

But they will never say
I'm in the process of submitting by older poems to my page.
Ophelia was lucky,

I bet the lake was idyllically pretty,
peaceful, secluded,

I bet she was surrounded by flowers,
weaving themselves into her wet, tangled hair,

I bet she was dreaming as she drowned,

there would have been no one
forcing down a door

no sirens and blue flashing lights
racing her back to life

Ophelia was lucky,

fifty aspirin doesn’t have quite
the same ring to it

as a Shakespearean suicide
there is nothing here
but ashes

and yet we rise
from the dust

building a home
brick by brick

stone by stone

the foundations of our love
our hearts yet to blossom

in full bloom

buds in waiting
flowers in purgatory

but we will unfurl, soon
we will flourish
I understand the world
best as a challenge
a fight to win
or lose
survivor. warrior.
beaten and bruised
I understand life
best as a puzzle
something to be
unpicked and
pondered until
the pieces merge
together into a
jigsaw, jagged and
incomplete. I'm panicking
now, can you feel it?
feel it burrowing into
you like a root?
I will plant myself there
and grow. from your
ash stained heart,
a tree of pink blossom
flowers, blown
away in summer
but pretty for a
brief spring
Ashes remember the fires
they once were,

the way that you remember
the taste of her black hair,
the casually complicated way
she parted her lips.

Fires do not think of themselves

they believe they'll glow and burn forever

but you know they don't
and she knew, she knew this

about you
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