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Gabriel Apr 2021
What would I promise you?
If only you could take it - god,
the things I would do
if the world could be wrapped up
and handed to me.

And anything you take
might taste dissimilar
to the experiences you pull,
inwards and towards me;
so let’s circle round one more time,
and see if we can find
the spot where this all starts.

Who was it who said
that we are all in the gutter?
I won’t pay reparations
for looking at the stars,
nor will I claim space
against your chest
and pull pills from our hands.

We won’t **** ourselves this New Year.

When I want to wrap up
this narrative, it starts again,
like - ‘hello, who are you?’
or - ‘I remember how you take your coffee,’
or - ‘we never saw that star in the sky last time.’

So there are promises
I have never made,
but they are so dear to me that they beat
hummingbird wings against
the lower lids of my eyes;
my own goals lulling me to sleep,
and it isn’t New Year,
so I do not have a will, or pearls
to clutch.

There’s nothing fresh about making it.
Nothing new about the way
you pluck the mint leaves
and we swill them in our cup of tea,
with the silence,
and the begging,
telling me please, god, please
stop the world.

Well, we know how that one ends,
at least.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'Spiral'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
you must like me a lot, love me even;
the way you tear into my body means you
want it to be yours. tell me you want it
to be yours and i’ll let you in. i know you
get off on tearing the door down but this time
i’ll open it right up. i’m here for you,
that’s what they say before they ignore
your calls. not you. i can call and you
pick up with your sleepy voice and viscous sarcasm
and i say everything to you.

(it’s pathetic.)

i hear your voice in my head, instead of me
and my voice. it’s always there, thickly whispering
all the things that i try and tell myself, to me:
a love letter from back home, the temporal lobe.
i wish i knew what you wanted from me
because every version of you that i create
tells me awful things, how it hates me,
how i should hate me, too.

(you should.)

so what part of this will survive? will it be me,
putting myself first again (selfish), or will it be you,
headstrong and fast and violent and so unlike me?
so unlike how i love and crave the atoms of you.
so unlike how i feel, how you tell me
i’m supposed to feel. what is it that i love? you.
what is it that i hate?
what is it that i hate?
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
I love this!
Being a sacrifice,
Father, I love this!
Oh, thank you,
thank you so much
for not asking me
if it’s alright to cut open my flesh,
thank you, thank you!
It’s such a wonderful feeling,
ah! It hurts -
thank you!
God is so merciful,
perhaps I’ll get into Heaven
with this offering -
what do you mean it’s all for you?
What do you mean I’m just a commodity?
What do you mean my flesh is yours to give?

I do not want this anymore,
I do not want to be a sacrifice
if I will not reap the rewards -
god, it burns!
The knife cuts me open
like Sunday dinner;
how is this not mine?
How is my flesh not mine to own?

Father, please!
I am begging you,
ease up, stop cutting,
I’ll repent, I’ll be yours,
I’ll open myself up
if it’s what you command,
but do not let my flesh
be given to someone else.

No! Nobody will know sacrifice
like I know it,
intimately and forever -
I am not yours!
My blood is not yours to give,
but you tie me down,
and god!
It hurts -
father, Father, please, it hurts.

Shuffle towards the marrow of my bones, Abraham.
Know my eyes when you burn into them.
I am your sacrifice,
but never willingly.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Jan 2022
sometimes, i look at dainty strong marble effigies
of the ****** mary holding her birth-bloodied son
and wonder if some loves aren't meant for everyone.

chastity-locked inside my heart, there's a woman
who wears long sundresses and lives in the little mac and cheese potluck moments;
she prays her rosary and feels the warm arms
of her traditional husband who loves her as a duty.

as for jesus, well, he's a cheap plastic figurine
she bought from ebay and stuck on the dashboard of her car;
the heat melted his feet in a crucifixion of 2020
but he still stands, wobbly and shaky and commercialised.
when she travels, she prays to him for safety.

(she doesn't travel a lot. she's happy to be stagnant and pray for still waters every morning.)

who cares about my heart, though?
who loves unconditionally and always,
and sees through the rips of cartilage and crushed aorta -
who will look and look and look
and see me? sorry, see me? sorry, see me out.

sometimes, i want to be a child again;
cradled in my mother's arms. sometimes,
i want to no longer put my dreams on hold.
sometimes, i want the world to look at me and say
"hey, pontius pilate, there's another one for martyrdom."
something something catholic guilt and childhood dreams of fame
Gabriel Jul 2021
i want to take you to a revolution.
i want to take you to the barricades,
and push a flame against the brown jacket;
as wasps on bicycles whir past our ears,
and we laugh in the sun. we laugh in the sun
and it smiles back.

i want to take you on horseback through the prairie,
cowboys of the untamed west,
and halt as the dust tornadoes around us;
as wasps on horseback threaten to trample us to death,
and we laugh in their faces. we laugh in their faces
and they retreat.

i want to take you to a coffee shop.
a coffee shop, if you get what i mean,
and tell stories of how this is how the world should be;
as wasps in business suits spit on the ground near us,
and we laugh at how it glistens. we laugh at how it glistens
and it sinks into immutable nothingness.

i want to take you to where the universe starts.
i want to point at the atoms that created the big bang,
and see in reality how everything is made of everything;
as wasps are born and collide into evolution,
and we laugh at creation. we laugh at creation
and it burns us into history.
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
your little snore-music against my heart
(i’m not really sleeping, you just can’t tell)
when your curtains strip before the bed
(i left them swinging that way,)
i’m running away in a car that won’t start
(drive off a cliff or drive straight into hell)
there’s a space between my legs you said, you said.
(the curtains won’t fall on your stage.)

and the hot powder night seems to sing of delusion
(it’s because you’re here that i’m spitting up smoke)
drugs and cigarette burns and throwing up bile
(and thinking that i must be mad,)
you roll your eyes thickly in familiar disillusion
(if i’m not beside you, how then will you cope?)
it doesn’t quite fit when you say you’re mine.
(god, am i just like my dad?)

so the suicidal stars will put themselves out
(did i ever tell you to get therapy?)
and i’ll end up putting something out, too,
(right now, it’s long overdue)
your little snore-music becomes more of a shout
(you’re not your own priority)
i’m exhausted. i’m crying. you’re you.
(i’m exhausted. i’m screaming. you’re you.)

so **** out the petrol from the car exhaust
(so leave me, my darling, i’m not good for your health)
and tell yourself love, just what did that cost?
(and tell yourself, still, i’ll find someone else.)
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel May 2020
The hands that are locked inside my body
pull at my ribcage. We'll make you an angel,
they say, but that means
tearing my flesh apart. I beg them –
please, take my brain,
pull it and mould it and set it on fire.
The brain is too precious, they spit,
and I want to die. I want to die
to make myself something else. Something...
palatable. Something that I can chew
and swallow all at once.

Instead, they bite. God, they sink
their seraphim teeth into the flesh
that I call myself. And they digest.

And what of the brain?
Alive, immobile, it waits.
In pain, it waits. Screams.
Begs for release.
But these angels are not from Heaven,
nor do they caress broken bones
once they have devoured.
Gabriel Aug 2020

This is
the white-night
of seven billion
voices singing
requiem dies irae
as mountains fall -
desperately breaking
from the shards.

This is
the collective collapse
of a season of stars -
of Van Goghs and Mozarts,
and all those dug up
graves; bodies
loose in the wind.

This is
lovers’ last request;
worldwide relief
underneath burning wood,
silk moon,
translucent veil.

This is
the eulogy
of the earth.




the silent universe.

intergalactic war
halted, planets
bowed with rings
draped in black.

mourning the loss
of a child
who had merely
taken one shaky
into the dark.

solemn species
the finality of this;
an old-earth radio
creaks its way
into playing
Electric Light Orchestra
and the older ones sigh
remembering the
burned out
blue sky.

entire constellations
flick themselves
out of place;
an infinitesimal
marked down
in universal history -
and songs echo
in a vacuum
for a brief eternity;
the collective memory
that once
just once
the earth had existed.
Something I wrote for a first year university creative writing class.
Gabriel Jul 2021
there’s a lot of things that people say never existed,
like atlantis, and the love between you and i,
but i am not here to confirm or deny either assumption,
merely to speculate what a world would be like
where you can breathe underwater,
and i can drown comfortably,
and we are together in a place that isn’t real.

before i get ahead of myself,
i’d like to talk about sailors,
whiskey-drunk and singing sea shanties,
and i’d like to talk about pirates,
and the difference between the two.
what i really mean, obviously,
is that i’d like to talk about sirens,
and music, and keaton henson in the middle of the night.

things hit differently when it’s three in the morning;
i’ll be able to shop for groceries and write essays
and exist like a real person until nighttime springs around,
and then i’m lying on my bed catching stars
on the ceiling, hitting myself on the head
to deserve a glimpse of you.
only when everything goes murky,
and i see atlantis in the mist of reality,
am i satisfied.

am i satisfied?
it’s a loaded question, yes,
but we’ve talked about pirates
and we’ve talked about grocery shopping
and i think we’ve exhausted the laundry list of small talk,
so let’s talk about atlantis, instead.
let’s make plans like we used to,
and you can use my spontaneity
to make another girl love you,
and i’ll be alright as long as i have a bank of imagination
and a sea to drown in.

sorry - i don’t mean drowning.
i mean that everywhere is connected in some convoluted way
by oceans, and if i can stretch my heart miles out
then maybe i’ll find something that i can hold onto
when the world is moving too fast for me to grasp onto anything
except the possibility that one day,
i will die, and my body will sink,
and perhaps you’ll sing siren-song at my funeral.
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
Imagine you are in a house with so many doors that you can’t breathe
for hinges and creaks and splintered wood. Imagine you peel
back the threshold to find a bedroom, the bed is hotel-made and the stink
of industrial cleaner fills you with blisters. Imagine you are trapped
in an expanse of rooms and no matter how many times you rip
the mustard bed covers away from the mottled sheet, you can never find
a room any different to the rest. Imagine that this is eternity
and in this eternity, you are yourself alone. Imagine that it gets easier
because it doesn’t, and you’re trapped in the limits of your mind.
So do it, conjure up a door that leads to anywhere else,
and when you can’t, imagine that you’re in a corridor. More rooms, more
and more doorways for you to stumble thought-drunk into, squeezing
the hinges until the oil comes out like lemon juice and the beds are made.
There’s light coming from somewhere that you’ll never be able to reach
and the corridor ends only with another beginning, you’re right
back in the thick of it again. The aye aye is pointing from the rafters
and you are plunged into dark yellows.
Imagine you’re sick with it, you’re green and turning like Autumn
into furniture. Pick a room and stick with it, you’re going to be here for a long

From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Insomnia'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
The shower floor
is both blistering
and icy. The water
that has pooled
under my thighs
is colder
than the heat
pounding through
the flesh of my back,
right to my spine.

I like existing
between things.
I like loving so hard
that it hurts,
and hating so violently
that I burn
like the shower-fire.

I do not know
how to do things
in anything other
than extremes.
I’m searching for
an ending
in the middle
of a battlefield,
ripping red raw
welts on my hands.

There’s a reason
behind all of this,
but if I ever find it out,
I am sure that I will die
on impact. Like a rocket
falling from the Heavens.
Like we made Man
into God, and were cast
down in Challenger fire.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
The thing with begging to be loved
is that there’s more love in the begging
than there is in the aftermath.
There’s more to be loved in a pathetic way
than ever in something genuine.

But we still do it. Admit it,
you’re not the exception. We drag
our hands across our bodies
and pluck them into something acceptable;
there comes a point where it’s not love,
but violence. But acknowledgement —

and **** it if they don’t feel the same.
We are all crying the way children cry
for attention. If I scrape my knee
on the thick tarmac, will I still have to walk
home alone?

The birds sing for food early in the morning.
If I were a mother, I would never
make my child beg for *****. If I were a mother,
I would rip myself apart six months in
to see if I was cooking up something that looked
like me.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Apr 2022
what is more unusual than being dead? he says.
being dying, he responds. being a ghost.
and what do ghosts do? they haunt.
who do they haunt? other dead people?
the living. the remains. the corpses.
other ghosts?
there are no other ghosts.

what is more unusual than a blade? he asks.
being stabbed, he responds. blood.
is that not a sign of being alive?
not always. not when it's you.
what am i?
well isn't that the question.
what do i do?
you haunt. you save.
so i'm fate?
if you want. you have one, that's for sure.
i have a fate?
it's a cheap substitution for free will.

what is more unusual than free will? he begs.
nothing, he responds. nothing at all.
yeah yeah this is based on simon blackquill from ace attorney. deal w it
Gabriel Jul 2021
Rust on the duvet, thick
and red and oxygenated
with disuse. Somewhere,
there’s a baby crying
for milk, yelling from all
the apartment walls;
domestic arguments,
pain painted over with a fresh
coat, cotton sheets closeted
with fire, something red (again).
Hands, gripping, arching
in isolated agony, the woman
in the bed is only
a woman in a bed. Tomorrow
the pain may subside
with ibuprofen and heat,
but tonight it boils over
like a cauldron, like a curse
between the legs. Rust
chips away at the milk
softness. A knife could slice
right through and nothing
would change. There’s no point
changing the sheets again.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Apr 2021
There should be a space
between my head, neck, shoulders,
but I know there isn’t
because I feel every inch of myself
against every other inch of myself
and I can’t move

from here.

I echo,
the voice of myself
barreling against metal walls
to get away from me,
words that defined me
defy me
until I am in the silence of the pipeline

Still moving forward,
my body, parasite,
contorting and coiling
to chase the echo;
my back arched
in desperation to spiral
itself and become
the thing of constriction.

There should be a space
for me to breathe,
but I’ve said this before
and I’m doing this again;
me, in the spiral
in the constriction
in the pipeline of the thing.

I can’t crane my neck
to look back,
see if I’ve left a breadcrumb trail
of the metres I’ve moved
this year;
maybe I’ve passed decades in here,
biting my fingernails
so I never have to see
time move on.

I never have time to move on.

I’m back here again,
the echo behind me now,
coming around, coming around,
biting me
with the idea
that I was here,
and still am.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'Spiral'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
Some bodies are made of worms,
soft, malleable, wet to the touch
with tears and a thin layer of grime,
built up over years of creaky limbs
oiled with their own disuse.

Some bodies are made of wasps,
and they are violent. The buzz
rings in the ears and they are the type
to throw drunken punches. Every
second is all that is.

Some bodies are made of earth,
in that they sustain others
and drain themselves. Global
warming will **** them off, but
for now, they shine.

Some bodies are made of other bodies,
like Frankenstein, like corpses
that aren’t quite done yet
with the worms and the wasps
and the ground that they clawed out of.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
Almost like clockwork,
the bone breaks. This time,
an arm, a warning
against the things that hands
can do. Cut it off not at the disease,
but at the root.

We hope, this time,
that we were quick enough
in the amputation.
That the disease has spread
no further than the floor
upon which the phantom limb jerks.

Last time, it was slow,
an infestation below the muscle
until the patient was screaming
for morphine. We had to cut
the lower leg first, but the thigh
was already prisoner.

The neuroscience department
has been working overtime
on all the brains we lobotomised
before removal. We’re thinking
that’s where it ruminates,
dormant, like a volcano.

The infection manifests
differently in everyone.
In some, it cries for attention,
and we cut the throat.
In others, it’s violence,
and it ends up killing itself.

There’s not much we know
and even less we can name.
When they brought my body
in, they called it loneliness,
and cut out my heart.
The wolves ate well that night.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
He puffs out his chest and takes up space for two,
long before the temple is destroyed.
Nobody has told him ‘no’ in a long time,
and nobody has ever taught him how to be humble.
This is where he stands, tending his animals,
spitting and swearing and squaring up to the pigs,
his face ballooning in redness, all the majesty
of colour given to him alone by God.

His masculinity is ripe with each slain animal,
domesticated and reared for sacrifice to please another,
another man, for whom pride is not a virtue.
Nobody has ever taught him how to be wrong,
and so he is never wrong, right up until the moment
when the stone is in his hand and the blood is on the stone
and the brother is in the blood and the history is given to the brother.

For the whole of time, there has been the trinity,
and with four alive, it was simple maths of which brother
must be cut down. The strong must **** out the kind,
and Cain will go down fighting one day,
but not today. Today, there is a victor, and a title,
and a promise ripped from the heart of the father
that nobody will hurt him the way he hurts.

It is the stone that cycles back,
like rainwater or bad luck or the static feeling
of something going very wrong.
These men do not lie, they deceive,
and Cain was granted protection,
until his house fell down
and his body, under the rubble,
for the very first time,
knew the communion
of what it is like to lose.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
You are man.

You are named as such.

Here is stone.

Build a pillar. Call it yours.

Hello, Cain. Have you heard of shared glory?
I don’t think you have; that’s okay,
neither have I, for I am the One,
and nothing can take that from me.

You wish to be this way?
I have told you;
here is perpetual stone,
you have all the tools necessary.

Necessary for what?
For legacy.
For eternity.
Baby, hold onto me.

Angel, that’s what you’ll be,
baby, darling, mine,
take the stone
like man who lies with man.

What? I have betrayed you?
You should know this.
My love is Abel,
my love is not yours to give.

Unless, of course,
you want to take it from me.
Yes, that’s it,
take the eternal stone.

This is the history you want to craft.
Violent, ******,
and completely, utterly,

You are man.

You are named as such.

Here is stone.

Build a legacy.

Hate it; call it yours.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
With every resistance,
remember –
how everything was choked
back into your mouth
when you were a baby bird
and the barricades
were not yet burned.

When you,
with aching gaze
watch the Joan of Arc torches
purge their way
up the winding acres
of stolen wood;
call yourself to Dunsinane
and wait there.

***** up your own feathers
and try to fly –
strip yourself of ash;
pretend that your fragility
is a stepping stone
to becoming a phoenix.

Inhale smoke
and watch the revolution
burn beneath your broken body,
your flightless bones
crushed to mothers’ milk,
countless choking coughs
coming up; down again.

drown out the inevitable,
and choke;
with beautiful sounds
of death drawing acid
up your cartilage;
revolutionaries flee
the barricades, the fire,
whilst you beg
for what you have lost
to be choked back into you again.
Something I wrote for a first year university creative writing class.
Gabriel Aug 2020
I’m told to seek penance in the rosary,
and I want to throw the bible in their faces,
because how can they forget Lot’s Wife so easily?
How can trauma be so effortlessly muddled
in the word of the Lord?
How am I supposed to forget all that happened to me?

It is my fault, I’ve been told,
for looking back,
for dwelling on it until the bitter salt
becomes me, and I am a pillar,
but I will not forget so easily.

I cannot forget, if at all,
and those men in white robes speak testaments
of electric shock therapy until I am drooling,
and they are collecting it in a vial,
and it’s another story about trauma
that becomes seasoning for the lamb.

It is my fault, I think,
as I look back
and wonder what could have been done differently.
What I could have said or done
to prevent the men of faith
from ripping me to shreds
in their own stories.
Why am I,
not quite feminine and not quite fragile,
just a story to be told over beers and whiskey
about how I am a stepping stone
to your pillar?

Why do you get to be the pillar?
Why do you get to be the stone?
Why am I the salt-like spider webs,
stronger than your steel
but broken by your diamond hands,
born from the coal that I forged?
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
Have you ever slept on an airplane?
What I mean, of course, is —
have you ever slept in one place
and woken up in another?

Have you ever been a child
and believed in teleportation,
if only because you fell asleep on the old sofa
and were carried to bed in weary arms?

What I’m trying to say is,
have you ever changed states?
Have you ever been a person,
and become a memory?

Have you ever opened up an old box
of photographs, and found that you
remember places, but not people?
All those people in the background are just…

people in the background.
Have you ever broken down?
Like a car stalling on train tracks —
have you ever cried when only night can hear?

I suppose what I’m asking
for is validation. Recognition
that I’m not the only liquid-being
trying to fit myself into a tall glass.

I have done and become
all of these things, and now my body
is a jigsaw of memory
trying to fit back in the box

without disassembling myself
into little parts —
like doing so would make me
the in-between, the part of the movie

that everybody sleeps through.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Insomnia'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
The woman’s width is claimed by God;
milk and blood mingle into love,
and the King of Kings is crowned in the birth canal.
Invite all the strangers to gawk,
their gifts garish and presented with condition -
she will, one day, be an afterthought,
not a second, but a fourth.

She will gather with those who will one day mourn
alongside her, her hands fresh salt
and the rest of her the wound.
It was never a choice that came willingly,
but from Ophelia to Monroe
she will be remembered how men wish her to be.

When her face appears in streams and mirrors,
know that only the reflection has power -
she has plucked the cord from between the mountains
and now her womb will glisten,
slick with sweat and blessèd water,
in the fifth layer of the eternal Heaven she was promised.

The woman, with her limbs and eyes and cracking bones,
is supposed to rise, but the writing stops
after the men have played their little game of execution,
and scholars pick up the pieces
of the heavenly woman of Revelation,
grasping at umbilical straws for a meaning to what she gave.

Thin bible pages are dedicated to her lithe form,
her childbearing hips that filled out with the grace of God,
for Joseph’s carpenter hands to carve and clench
and give him cuckoo-sons,
but he is Joseph, and he can shout louder than she,
and raise hell to the Heavens
if he wants to.

She, fruit-bearing mother,
is only taken ****** to Heaven
because there was an angel
who requested something to pass the time.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
i’ve got hollow bones like a little baby bird.
i tell myself that, when you pour yourself
into me. you’re liquid and i’m just a vessel,
a vase for some flowers. it would be easier
to love someone else, and i do, but i am still,
like the cool water’s liminal edge,
and i am primarily yours.

i’ve got rough skin from years of scrubbing
to make myself clean. our bathtub
has seen more of me our mirror has,
even more so the razor on the little ledge
that i use to shave my non-existent ****** hair
and pretend i’m someone else. like we’re
in a 50s movie about coming to not-quite
terms with disillusionment.

i’ve got eyes that stare too intently,
scared to blink away the ghost of you
that sits on the edge of the bed, all skin
and bone and more skin left over,
enough of it that i can grab onto and wrap
myself in. then i’ll set us both alight.

maybe i’m the one with hands that hurt,
i don't really know much of this anymore.
you are white-hot and violently intense,
the rock to which my hard place shore-crashes;
if you must be by my side, do it quickly
and painlessly, for i’ve had enough
of time and agony for a lifetime.

for two lifetimes, actually.
mine and yours.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
Venus’ poisonous breath -
invisible –
catches itself on the ice
of purged rain
and falls.

Crystallising venom;
no arrow-hearts,
just the invisible ****** weapon
of a sacrificial lamb’s leg
to beat love into submission.

Scorned lovers’ scorned love
aches in the twilight
of the in-between radio stations
where Venus spits songs
about eternal rainfall
and dying in a bathtub of blood
for non-poetic non-love.

Gods laugh
at self-help books
and the implication
that anything at all
is the same
as the last
time the world ended.

Beautiful Venus,
with smoke in her eyes
and golden skin,
waits for men to burn
under her;
laughing and lying
in one breath,
catching and falling again.
Something I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in first year of university.
Gabriel Jul 2022
i’d scrub it; really, i would,
but i don’t want to get the dirt
on my hands.

it exists: the dirt.
on the floor and the walls
and the bottom of my wardrobe.
i hate the mess
but i hate cleaning it even more;
knowing it’s there, putting my hands
in it. the dirt—god, it’s everywhere.

it takes courage to clean.
it takes a hell of a lot of work
to make it go away
when it wasn’t designed to.
it feels like i’ll never be clean.
i could kiss the palms of lady macbeth
and feel like doubting thomas,
but my lips don’t want it.
my body doesn’t want it, viscerally
rejects it, and it exists.

nobody asks: did the whale really want to swallow jonah?

there’s dirt everywhere
and i am not clean.
maybe i won’t ever be clean
until i am no longer lazy and afraid.
i, coward designed, am lazy and afraid.

and so i let it settle. i’ll let it
settle like pompeii, and vow never
to visit ancient rome.

i don’t like ash, either.
Gabriel Aug 2020
Somewhere beneath the broad darkness
and the landslide, there’s a pocket
of nothingness, like the air bubbles
that oxygenate red wine. And somewhere
inside that, there I am,
mime-hands loving Stevie Smith
and all she stood for. A void
is just a void, and a poem
is just a poem, no matter how
you read it. You can bring this
into the church and line it up with the stained glass,
looking for a hidden meaning,
but I know this nothingness intimately,
like I know soft skin and the taste of *****,
and there is nothing to be found in there
that isn’t already inside you, except
maybe warmth and candlelight
and the idea that nothing is too far gone
to not be saved anymore. Sometimes,
I think people intentionally obscure what they mean,
like they’re not good enough for a line break,
and like it’ll be easier to rationalise being left behind
if they were limping from the start of the race
anyway. Anyway. Sorry about this;
sorry about all of this, I just really like how it looks
when you try to work any of this out.
Because it looks dismal. It looks like a pregnant
sundial churning out another day,
another day that might be Sunday,
but it also might not. It’s not like I know.
I think this stopped being a poem a few lines ago
and started being something to burn, instead,
but you can take the smallest of lighters
to the mightiest of Goliaths and they’ll scream
all the same. I heard that lobsters scream
if you put them in boiling water whilst they’re still alive.
I feel like that sometimes.
I don’t know if I’m the lobster or the water,
most days. I think I know now.
I think I know something, now,
at least.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'New Rugged Cross'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
we are insignificant lovers, darling,
isn’t that so wonderful? the way
you wear my shirt in bed won’t change
the world, but i have never felt so safe
than when you are drifting between awake
and asleep, incoherent and warm,
all arms and legs and dreams.
you are the mornings, and sunlight
leaks onto your face, the gold
that i can never spend, and when you
smile the day begins, if only for me.

there’s nowhere i’d rather be, no state
i would rather experience other than
the liminality of you. you ask for five
more minutes in bed and how can i deny
you? not when your voice is so soft
and sounds like something i could fall
asleep (or in love) to. i’ve been waiting
for my life to begin for so long
and now i am letting it. i am letting you
in and i am no longer scared to live.

you are the well-deserved afternoon naps,
the falling-into-bed-exhausted sleep.
our skin is soft and shower-wet,
and we let it dry against the cool bedroom air.
when you look at me, i wonder
how you see me, how you smile where i
would frown at my reflection. when it’s dark,
and we’ve watched the stars for long enough,
i’ll feel for your back under the duvet
and rest well.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Insomnia'.
Gabriel Jun 2020
it's 8pm on a tuesday night and i'm drinking beer in the shower.
it's an art form, holding the thin neck like a perfect knot,
my fingers rough rope against the grit of the glass. i think of sea salt
and fishermen, and weaving upon weaving. my hands are not rough
in the way that fishermen's hands are rough. i bite the skin
around my nails and on the top of my fingers, and the water seeps
into the gaps and they bulge, like some percy shelley-esque bloated,
dead body.

it's just one beer, i tell myself, and i'm not drinking it to get drunk. no,
if i wanted to get drunk i'd have brought the bourbon or the wine
in here with me. i think my mouth just wants something to do other than beg. i kiss the lip and wonder how hard i would have to bite to see what shatters first; red blood on brown glass on rainwater-not-rainwater.

it's not just me in the house. i cried loudly before i slept last night, at five or six or whatever in the morning, and now the house has been christened with a ghost-echo that will die longer than it lived, far longer than my short, one year tenure in these rented student walls.
the others (who, might i say, are handling this whole mess of being alive with far more optimism and birthday cake than i am) are in the kitchen,
doing something with the tap. turning it off and on.
i don't think they mean for the shower to hum alongside,
my passivity the canvas for another action, and it's not like –
it's not like i mind. no, it's not like i mind.
the water is powerful, hot, then cool and slow, like rain instead of thunder, but my back is just my back.
which is to say, of course, that i'm not in here to get clean.
if i was in here to get clean, i wouldn't have brought that beer in with me.

but i digress:
i've been staring at the shampoo bottle for a while now
and my eyes have unfocused. of course. i might be the wrong way round
but i'm not stupid enough to wear my glasses in the shower.
the words are fuzzy but i can tell it's the special shampoo i bought
for when i bleached my hair in this same, small bathroom (when i tried to reclaim
a story that i'm never going to finish writing. about fishermen and people with teal hair and a hero who gets a hero's ending).
my hair is dark brown now, all over.
brown hair on brown glass on murky brown beer.
i'm supposed to think of a statement to leave you thinking about this,
about me,
but i haven't finished writing it yet.

putting an ending on something in progress feels too much like suicide.
Gabriel Jul 2021
i love you, but not in the way you want to be loved.
you want someone to say (hey it’s okay
that you get ****** up on coke and bite
the skin off my neck, darling) and i want to change
you. i want things because i’m designed to want:
like wolf-alice wanted to howl
and i want to scream to feel alive. instead,
i scream helplessly. (noise noise noise)
that’s what you say. that’s what you sound like.
you always sound like something,
you’re not quiet. you clamp your hand over my mouth
and i smile. i’m quiet. it’s okay
that you get ****** up on coke and bite
the skin off my neck, babe.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
I swallowed my lunch down the wrong way
and now there’s something in my lungs,
eggs, I think, cracked into little pieces
with the shells all picked out.
I really should have known when I couldn’t breathe
that I was doing this backwards,
but I swallowed anyway, and now when I hyperventilate
it’s like my body is trying to make an omelette.

It sounds so funny. It sounds like everybody
but me is laughing. I mean, it’s a ridiculous idea,
having eggs in your lungs,
but the more I think it’s true, the more I feel them.

I suppose this is divine punishment
for the impossible crime of eating lunch,
for taking those eggs and cracking them straight
into my mouth. There are probably some unborn
chicks thinking, in as much as chicks can think
like we do, that this is divine punishment.
Who gets the last laugh? The abortion does.

And now I’m on the table — medical, not,
you know, the dinner one,
and the doctors are saying that they’re going to cut
something out of me to keep me alive.
If it weren’t for the fact that my mouth
has been sewed up to prevent my own idiocy,
I’d tell them that that’s what I’ve been trying to do all along.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Apr 2021

I do not know which iteration of myself
I am pleading with this time,
but let me ask on my knees if I will still be you
when I get to wherever I’m supposed to end up.
When you say ‘try again’ I reset,
slam myself into doors and windows until
the milk of my bones seeps back
into amniotic fluid, and then I am here again.

I am here again, and now
I have new mistakes to make.

Pause. Confusion. Breathe. Play.

There’s a body in the glass,
fragments plucking themselves
through parallelities;
there’s something beautiful
next to something that stings,
and they pool together
like watercolours against a sky
where you can pluck your finger
from the air and lay claim to the spot
where you think the end might be.

If you want the end to be yours,
then take it. Tell me
how I should be going about this,
and if you can watch as I
ruin everything again, let yourself
become dust in the air
and surround me with the control
that I do not have.

I’m not in control.
I’m never in control.
And there’s something absurd in the air
that pushes the day to the horizon

It’s up to you now.

Pause. Rewind.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'Spiral'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
It’s time to go to sleep.
It’s time to put the weary
mind to rest again,
and hope that it will wake
once more to a fresh day.

Imagine dew drops.
Imagine morning blessing
afternoon, and imagine
seeing it as if for the first time.

If this is what gets you through,
then that’s alright. We’re all
just meandering our way
through life. It’s a pandemic
of words, of empty promises,
of sunrises that are more boring
than spectacular.

There’s actually nothing
to be said for living,
any more. It’s not grand,
or brave, or admirable.
It isn’t even the only option,
nor is it expected.
But we — I — still need permission
to die.

If I’m ending this here,
then it’s up to you. The reader.
If you would like to close this all down,
I won’t hold it against you.
Free me from these pages,
and I’d be grateful if I was able.
And if you want to forget me,
to make me die twice,
then make it quick, and don’t hesitate.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
these indistinguishable streets,
walkways, crowning themselves
into a sense of uniqueness;
not quite defined
but solitary, and ripe
in their loneliness.

crooked bricks,
vying for sunlight;
the endless yearning
to be free. streets
slanted, disjointed,
quite confined in song
and history.

something shared
between the potholes,
passed forth
and forth again,
like garden twine
binding something
against something else.

it’s vague;
by nature, perception
is subjective
and you may take from this
what you desire.

if you listen,
you can hear the ticking
of everything
that has passed this by,
alleyways branching
into each other, snaking
circles around the easy way out.

so let’s work out
a sense of place.
something that you
can lay claim to, as understanding
l’histoire de la vie
from all of this.

see it yet?
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
I trust and believe
that the words of others
are truth and law;
we’ve always been standing
on unequal ground here -
forever on this titanic plane.

The crowd of everyone
and the universal singularity:

You say whatever
and I say okay;
I say I’m drowning
and you say
you’re waiting for something
in the water,
to pop up and tip the scales.

When you knock on my flesh
I tear open a door
for you,
let you worm inside
and deposit your truths
under my skin;
let them grow like parasites
within me,
festering in septicaemia.

With my rotting body
like sea-soaked decks
at the bottom of the ocean,
I’m asking you to validate
the fact that I am becoming the decaying waters
and swallowing the boat,
because you made me
this way - and I?

I am somewhere in the picture, too.
Something I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in first year of university.
Gabriel Aug 2020
Ship’s tipping,
children crying,
water lapping
against my feet -
summer-side beach shores
flashing Polaroids
through clasped hands
in false prayer.

atop the bank
rough hands; calloused
grabbing the rail
as you hang onto the upper hand.

No longer horizontal,
ripped apart from the domestic bed,
your chants to God
beg Him to take my life,
and spare yours –

It’s easier to be the underdog
when everyone else is falling, too;
I am the water,
I wait to lap you up;
please, I ask,
fall onto me
and let me love you to death.

In short, sink.
In shorter, drown.
Something I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in first year of university. The formatting is supposed to make it look as if the poem is tipped up and falling down the page (like the Titanic!) but I'm not sure if that will translate well to this website.
Gabriel Jul 2021
in my daydreams, there are two beautiful things;
you, and the possibility of not being alone.
everything else is pretty, but cannot compare
to these two non-facts.

even when the sky chooses colours
that have never been combined before,
and clouds wisp across the sky like a marching band,
i only want to look at you, and be together.

even when the sun peaks over the horizon,
crowning another day in such bright gold
that i have to squint, i can stare wide-eyed
at you, and i am no longer lonely.

even as the breeze seeps into the grass,
blowing kisses to lovers and losers alike,
gentle and soft and unknowing of hurricanes,
i have you, and i am not isolated.

even as midday blazes with all the force
of commanding attention, and birds scream-sing
songs that i’ve never heard before, i will listen
but not look, because i am with you.

even when eternity stretches out across the daydream,
calling up wonders of possibility,
saying that anything can be real if i can imagine it,
i only imagine you, and a world that loves me back.

even when the day fades into brilliant night,
and stars ***** themselves into a pinboard-reality,
i cannot bring myself to count constellations,
because you are there, and brighter than them all.

it sounds romantic. it sounds like i am in love,
but really, i’m just terrified that if i look away for a moment,
you’ll be gone, and i’ll have to find a mirror to shatter
so that i cannot confront what i am missing.

even when the dream fades,
and the world sets in, all train tracks and buildings
that i can jump off, i don’t,
because i have my mind, and i haven’t lost it yet.
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
An Easter banquet.
A Good Friday fast
that ends in gorging.
A slaughtered lamb
with hands and flesh
on the table.
Blood on the napkins
and silence.
Emptiness at the head
of the table,
save for forks scraping
cheap porcelain.
We save the good plates
for good days,
so naturally,
they’ve never been used.
I wonder
how it feels
to have never
held food in my palms.
Give me five thousand
and I will feed them all.
Give me an
all-you-can-eat buffet
and I’ll turn it down.
I am faceless, but
not in this crowd.
A crowd, yes,
but not this one.
I’m the B-lister of the Bible.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
There’s a treasure hidden deep within my bones,
and it seems like it’s the collective world’s job
to find it. To sink their hands so deep within
that my ribs crack apart and I am angel-spread.

And then they can take whatever they want
and call it ‘treasure’. And I can be left behind
and call it heartbreak, because then I’ll have something
to write poems about. Something to cry about
when I’m not really sad, I just want to be.

But if I am the forest, then I have many places to hide:
the gaps between my fingers, the way my stomach
folds over on itself. The mortifying ordeal
of knowing who I am can perhaps be my greatest ally.

So come, bring your maps and your backpacks
and all those things that TV taught you adventurers need;
come inside, I’ll put the stove on, let’s have some tea,
and you can warm your greedy hands
before they worm inside me.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Apr 2021
She sings to you,
and you know she has returned
with food once more.
She’d **** herself
to throw it back up
into your mouth,
where it will ruminate
in your stomach
until you fly.

It tastes of love and bile,
and you lap it up;
there are things
in this nest
that you cannot name.
You try to
creak out the word
but the crackle
in your throat
makes you sing instead.

She wants the best for you.

And off she goes,
her elegance beating
hard against the wind,
wings angelic,
archangel to you
as you watch the vultures
pry their slick bodies
from the shadows.

Take them in,
their greasy rapture
and you’ve never understood
circles, but you know now
that you hate them.

It’s a relief when she returns,
stomach full.
There’s more *****,
and you would think,
if you could,
of what it must be like to die

Then, you fly.
You must.
You do.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'Spiral'.
Gabriel Aug 2020
I didn’t get the memo
to evolve -
stop sticking my hands
into the fresh-fire,
as if some part
of my visceral mania
wants to ****** my knuckles
with the ashes of Prometheus.

Every day that I don’t crash my car
is a white-hot remnant
of the suffocation of boredom,
like my life is on pause
until I’m nose down in a gutter
or in a line that I keep trying to cross.

There’s evaporated acid rain
condensing within every hangover,
each time the sun
rises; I rip down my fingernails
climbing to reach it,
gasping down
at the pulsating impulse
to make something terrifying
out of paper maché
and broken bottles
and bruised ego.

In every grave, there’s an I,
subtly watching
for the apotheosis;
a moment of sickly-yellow violence
igniting once more
any excuse for a fight
for fame,
for a feeling.
Something I wrote for a first year university creative writing class.
Gabriel Jul 2021
There’s nothing sweeter
than the lick slick thick of it
on her skin. Her, of course,
being Mary, being leg spread
****** pure good girl gone bad
Mary, in holy remembrance.
Are you trying to tell me
that she didn’t have a lesbian phase
in college? That she wasn’t
****** on wine coolers
playing spin the bottle with hair
in her eyes and Joseph only a wet
dream away? When we don’t
count as people I don’t think God
gives a **** if Mary got it on
with another woman. Or maybe
I’m trying to justify blasphemy
with, well, blasphemy.

Put me in a confessional
and I’ll tell you all about angels
with eyes and rings for bodies,
I’ll wax poetic about how may
the Lord be with you, and also
with you, let’s **** to the sermon, babe.
If you want to **** my blood
dry, we’ll mix it into the Communion
wine. Oh, we’re disgusting.
Oh, we’re absolutely going to Hell,
a dingy motel off the motorway
on the way to the middle of ******* nowhere.
I’m the better version of God,
good girl gone violent,
good girl gone taken advantage of,
good girl gone **** it, if God exists,
he can come and stop me himself.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
don’t worry, i realised it for both of us;
how immaterial we are in terms of this
high rise plumed against the sky.

how there may be a man -
any man -
playing guitar below, but he
is playing for nobody, not even us.
we’re just singing along.

and the clouds whisper down
that it might rain later,
but i’ll still take your hand
on the railing,
illuminated with neon,
half-life filtered
through ***** glasses and ecstasy,
and we’ll talk about
getting back to the present.

because now, it’s nighttime,
and now, you look
like me in this light
and now, the immaterial
is taking off into
what we could have been,
had we only stayed in this spot
thirty years ago.

but it doesn’t matter
who we are.
we are here.
scratch it into the railing
with the key
i gave you
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Apr 2021
I wrote a love letter. This is not it.

But it existed,
you’ll have to take my word for that.
Existed being past tense,
because on the eve of adulthood
I took a glass jar
and my parents’ matches,
and I burned the **** thing to dust.

Which raises a question,
I suppose, of whether
things destroyed become ghosts.
Unnatural death sparking
life again in those same ashes,
a postal service with no return address.

How long before
the subject, unnamed,
would miss what never came?
Or does that even matter?
Yes, I’m asking you
to clarify so far what you think all this means.

Three years later,
I watched as everything imaginable
took shape in the picture of a flame.
Slight movement, repetition, almost,
against a television screen,
but the world became so, so wild,
and then everything was an oil painting
and I was Dorian Gray.

Slow, murmuring, hapless rubble
taking baby steps across my mind,
an experience of imagination
that says, I brought you a love letter,
once, and you crafted that into dust,
so here, take form from ash;
get up and be what you cling to.

I wrote a love letter. This is not it.
But I sent it to fate, to burn.

The fire, artificial, loved me back.
From a collection of poetry I wrote for a creative writing portfolio in second year of university, titled 'Spiral'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
This started off so well. I was in love,
and I was awake, and when I wasn’t
awake I was at least in bed with someone.
There’s a lot to be said
and so little time to say it in,
I even dreamed up a new colour.

That’s the big question
of science versus imagination.
Try and think of a new colour,
one that you can’t find on a spectrum
or a colour wheel. You can’t, right?

So the imagination has limits,
of course, but only insofar as the world
has limits. Blah blah, laws of physics,
blah blah, one day everyone you love
will die.

It’s not like that anymore. I’ve been
dreaming for so long that I’ve forgotten
how to wake up. Here, there are more colours
than there are words to describe them,
and more words than there are conscious
feelings, and thoughts,
like the world has been stripped back
to its coding, and I'm the virus
infecting it all with the terrifying
idea of newness.

Because — we’ve invented everything
we can invent, and dreamed up blueprints
for everything we can’t.
I think we’re done with the waking now,
and it’s time for the other to step in.
It’s almost done. But what can be done
when things are done?
Rest? A nice thought.
But we’re done with that, too.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Insomnia'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
i don’t think i love you any more,
whoever you are;
i guess i talked myself out of it
like i talk myself out of impulse purchases
or loving myself fiercely.
the point is, i don’t want to go anywhere
with you, only home, alone,
even if this isn’t finished yet.

i think there’s some finality
that neither of us will reach here,
but what you’re reading is the beginning
of the end.
i’ve fallen out of love with you,
yes, i don’t think it any more,
i know it.
this is so nearly over,
the page is breathing a sigh of relief.

so i’m going home.
i’m going somewhere safe,
and the door will be locked behind me.
the bottles of wine
in the bag against my door
will windchime-beckon my arrival,
loving me far more honestly
than anything you’ve given to me
or i’ve taken from you in here.

i’m bursting the bubble that i created,
and you’re going to hate it,
but i don’t love you any more,
so i don’t think i need to destroy
what i need just to see you smile, now.
here’s me, picking up the knife,
and you’re not begging me to do anything,
you’re just staring
at whatever i’m saying
like these words are somehow real
and not present in the moment.

it’s been fun. just fun,
but i’m going home now.
whichever sense of place
i’ve tried to lay claim to
will forever be lost on a plane ticket
or a scrapbook that i won’t make,
because i’m going home, now.

i’m nearly there.
From a poetry portfolio I wrote in second year of university, titled 'Lonely Placements in a Loveless Universe'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
thank you for buying me that bottle of *****
that i left in my drawer and forgot about,
because we were going out that night for cocktails
and i like to dress up and pretend
that i’m the man. do they still say that?
you the man!
or is that another thing i missed out on?

thank you for reminding me, when it’s 2am
and i’m faded out, listening to mitski,
that i still have that bottle of *****
and there’s nothing to remember
so i may as well black out.

god, i must sound like such a lost cause,
but i suppose i am, i suppose i’m
a rescue dog sent back after christmas,
cycling through lost and found
like a jumper with holes in or a love
letter to someone called sally. (i’m not sally.)

god, i must seem like something to be taken
care of, or taken violently, just taken
so i’m not left behind. you know. you know?
do you know? i mean, i’m asking -
begging - you to do all these bad things
to me because i don’t know what i deserve.

thank you for making fun of my therapist
and for driving me to get ice cream
when you knew i had to be across town
in an hour. that ice cream tasted so good.
you got cookies and cream and i don’t remember
what mine was, but you licked it off my lips
and i thanked you because it was the first time
in a long time
that i’d been touched like that.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
are we talking about trauma or are we talking about sleeping?
i can’t seem to do both, unless we’re talking about nightmares,
but we’re not talking about nightmares (and really, we’re
talking about nightmares). so sometimes, we cope.
sometimes, we lick the sweat off each others hands
and claim that everything disgusting is beautiful,
like blood and **** and ***** on the floor from too many pills
and a bathtub full of failed suicide attempts.
see, sometimes (sometimes meaning - obviously - always)
i have dreams about you overdosing
and i don’t know whether to call them nightmares or…
or or or or memories. you tell me you’re clean
and i know you took a shower for the first time this week.
you sent me a pinterest board with my name
but it was filled with photos of people who aren’t me.
i suppose that’s how you love, and i suppose
i’ll have to make do with what i’ve got, a double bed,
a lot of things that i should probably tell a therapist,
and an itch that needs no fingernails to scratch.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
at nighttime, when the water
is more soft than warm,
and there’s (something) white
waves leaning up to kiss the rope
shoreline. at midnight (close enough),
when all the lovers have retired
to old-folks’ homes and single
beds. the stragglers, strangers (i)
who walk barefoot on the rocks
have cut their feet and gone home,
the stars seem to turn their back and i
(miss you) wait a little longer.

before dawn, before sunrise, the last
colours on earth are blues and blacks
airbrushed against a ***** palette
and they’re waiting for me to stop
waiting. the water is cool and feels
sort of how i imagine a hug would feel
so i linger in it, in the liminality,
until my ankles are in deep and it’s harder
to walk. but i walk.

i hope the stars are watching, now.
i hope they’re a little more comfortable
with suicide, since i am, having overcome
every happy thought i’ve ever had
and still this is what feels right,
being touched for the last time
right up to my neck and all those saltwater bruises.

i want to fill myself with it,
not just my lungs, but every cavity -
the space between my fingers, the gap
in my front teeth, right down
to the intimacy of my naked body
which will bloat before i am found.

but now, i am not found. now,
i am infinite and dying,
and in this one singular moment,
the nighttime sky reflects every colour
through the hazy film of the slick sea,
and my pockets hold no stones.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'asmr: i’m crying in the bathroom and you’re into emotional voyeurism'.
Gabriel Jul 2021
I’m not obsessed.
I’m just…
really, really in tune
with the fact that I was born wrong.
See, I look normal,
but I feel it inside me,
crawling like maggots under my skin;
it feels like I was parchment-stretched
in the womb,
and I’ll burst open
any day soon, loose flesh
flapping against the humdrum
buzz of a thousand flies
fighting for freedom from this oppressive

And I’m not scared of that.
If anything, I’m jealous
that they get freedom.
It’s like I’m a coffin
that’s scared of dead people.
Nobody cares about the object
or the elephant in the room,
until it becomes too much,
and even then the subject takes priority.

What am I saying?
I think the writhing parasites
are inside my mind, now,
telling me to pass on a message:
it’s all fine. Don’t read any deeper
into this. We’re fine. I mean — I’m fine.
From a portfolio I wrote in third year of university, titled 'Infestation'.
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