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Molly Hughes May 2016
What did her mouth taste like?
Did she taste like me?
Was her breath sugary and hot,
her sighs cotton candy and sweet tea,
or did the guilt turn them sour
her spit bitter and spoilt?
Or had her tongue dragged you in
and swallowed you whole
allowing any of trace of me to be forgotten,
the guilt but an irritating side effect
of one ******* magical poison?

What did her lips feel like?
Did they feel like mine?
Were they firm,
but soft,
but awake,
exciting and strange,
but completely home,
moving in shapes you didn't know how to fit inside,
talking in tongues you couldn't quite understand?
I bet you tried.
I bet you thought she was calling you all the things nobody had ever called you before -
but can't you remember all the times I called you perfect?
Usually when you were half asleep or I was half drunk,
me watching your face soften from mountain to sea with each passing breath,
you telling me to shush because it was only the drink talking.
But you were wrong;
I meant it.
Every dumb sappy thing I ever said,
I meant it.

Where did your hands go?
Did they slide inside her tshirt
and wrap around her waist,
holding on so tightly that your skin seemed to melt into hers,
like they used to do to me?
I still have the burn marks to prove it,
hot welts on my hips,
ugly and the most beautiful purple flowers I've ever seen.
Or were your hands wary and unsure of themselves,
shaken by such sudden starlight,
hanging awkwardly around your sides,
reaching out
and falling back
and again
and again?

Maybe if I'd have pressed my mouth against yours that bit harder,
slid my tongue along yours that little bit quicker,
eaten sugar lumps before we kissed,
you'd still be here.
Kiss me again
and I'm not letting go.
Kiss me again
and I'll choke you with honey.
Kiss me again,
kiss me again,
kiss me again.
Molly Hughes Apr 2016
It's hard to tell
if it's really you,
speaking to me so venomously,
words coming from some pitch black place
buried deep inside.
Your eyes stare
as if they're desperate to close;
the lids sagging,
the pupils unseeing.
You flinch at my touch
and I'm scared to get too close.
I can't remember the last time you smiled.
Sighs sit heavy in the air
and land every now and again,
falling with such force that they
bruise skin
and break bones.
I very much want to shove you down under the duvet,
wrap you in the sheets,
away from the falling sky,
but I'm frightened to touch
and my arms don't seem able to hold enough of you;
and if you're under the bed clothes
then the sighs have nowhere to go,
so the space between the matress and the sheet hardens and turns to stone,
trapping you inside.
Maybe that's what you want -
but I'm selfish and I'd take any amount of cuts and bruises
over that.
So we sit,
side by side,
on top of the blanket,
and you can't seem to find the motivation to speak,
so I say enough words for the both of us
and I hate myself for every little thing that I say,
because it all means absolutely nothing
and you stopped listening a long time ago.
One night whilst we slept
you walked too far
and went away
and I'm not sure when you're coming back.
I'm sorry if I'm the reason you had to leave -
I should have seen your back starting to turn,
heard the footsteps within the silences.
I'd have grabbed your hand and never let go.
But I need you to know,
I'll be here waiting when you come back.
I'll listen with pure joy as your jaw swings open
and the weeks worth of unsaid words come pouring out,
lie in total bliss as your fingers remember how to sit between mine,
soak up the hard pump in my chest as your tongue finds the words "love", "I" and "you" and let's them spill into the breeze to linger a while
before they float straight through my smile
and into my throat.
I miss you
but I'll never get tired
and leave you lost.
I'm here,
and I know you will be soon, too.
Molly Hughes Jan 2016
I loved you too hard
and I loved you too quick.
if you want,
I can love you soft
and I can love you slow,
if that makes things better,
but I can't,
I'm sorry my dear,
not love you at all.
Molly Hughes Jan 2016
It feels as if a spinning top has been turned
and I'm stuck to it,
one side me a month ago
and who I am now on the other.
I was so happy.
I didn't realise before that such happiness existed,
or that I'd ever feel it.
But I did
and you let me
and I smiled so hard from morning till night that people were asking me if I was okay.
I'd gotten all the way to then without ever really being okay,
but now I was
exactly right.
You woke parts of me up that I didn't even know were asleep,
helped me see things that before I'd ignored -
you made me feel like something worth wanting.
The mirror held me differently
so that I barely recognised my own reflection.
Did she always walk with her shoulders so far back,
stand with her head held so high up??
The second time I met you
I felt something physically change within me.
A sudden jolt somewhere behind my belly button,
the dislodging of stars and hot insides.
I wondered if you'd noticed,
if I'd changed on the outside too,
but you were too busy
tracing the tree trunk ring lines on my fingertips with your lips,
to notice.
Then I'm spinning
and spinning
and spinning,
and I'm grabbing hair
and tshirts that smell like you and home
and fingers that fit perfectly in mine
and stained with paint duvets that keep us safe
and door handles that lead to places I've never been before
and flowers and rain and mountains and oceans and forest
and I've landed somewhere hard and all too familiar
with the wind knocked right out of me,
like a boat being spat out of a storm.
Everything's dark.
Everything's cold.
Everything's exactly how it was before -
I know.
I know what could be
and who we could be
and who I could be
but now I'm stooped so low that I can't even see myself in the mirror,
people are asking me if I'm okay and my mouth is too sore to answer,
I can feel something just behind my belly button
but it hurts
and makes stomach acid swim up my throat.
I spit it out on pavement
and wonder if it burns.
I hate you so ******* much for doing this that it scares me.
You took me at my worst,
rolled me in your hands like clay till I was somebody new,
and then crushed it between your palms
so now I'm so broken it hurts to breathe
and bits of ***,
plate and vase,
rattle in my lungs
till I cough blood.
And just a month ago,
before you span the top,
I loved you so much it scared me
but now I don't know the difference.
Molly Hughes Dec 2015
Most of the time,
your name stirs lethargically around my head,
muffled and not quite discernible
under the everyday sea of thought that laps
against my skull.
But now and again
the tide turns
and you lurch out of it,
the single syllable crashing along with the tumultuous waves
against bone and flesh,
drowning tomorrow's shopping list
and that phone call I promised I'd make.
For a second,
I'm knocked out,
struggling to contain the ocean -
you arrive so unexpectedly
and leave so messily,
frothing and spraying against the shore until all that's left
is a couple of red raw letters
and a memory or two.
I shake my head to get rid of the water
but everything still feels
I miss the sun warmed lakes that used to reside in me
and the certainty they brought.
No turning tide
and no waves to knock me flying,
just a vast silky stillness that I could,
dip a toe in to,
and then dissolve in,
fully submerged.
And I could scream your name until my lungs bled,
and hear the single ******* syllable echoed back at me,
each one different for each time I actually said it
(whispers under bed sheets, long moans that lasted long after you'd left)
and still not get sick of the short bluntness
of the four frank letters -
an unapologetic start and end
with a whisper in the middle.
But if I decided to put my lips to better use,
and let my blood stream soak you up instead,
all was quiet.
No slam of wave,
no spluttering sea -
and that silence,
full and happy,
said more than words ever could.
Molly Hughes Dec 2015
Sleeping in the same bed was,
at first,
limbs at odd angles
and breathing self conscious.
I’d roll one way,
then the other,
not sure what I was looking for
until I found you
on your back
mouth agape and body warm.
The first few times I didn’t dare touch you
not sure if I was allowed
and not wanting to wake you;
until the sun came up
and the light gradually let itself in
and I hid my face under the duvet,
scared you’d open your eyes and see something in it
that gave the game away,
or that you’d see something that
you’d missed before,
that made you want to get up,
put your socks on
and leave.
Even so,
I grew braver each time,
until I let myself roll one way,
and then the other,
with such force that I’d
roll into your outstretched arms,
which were always
palm up
and open.
Most of the time you’d **** awake,
bleary eyed and mumbling,
while I lay there
breath caught and wondering,
before turning your palms in
and bringing me to rest somewhere between the notches in your rib cage,
arms closed tight around mine.
I’d count the minutes as I felt you go from a sturdy pillow,
all old cotton and chest,
to a soft wave in a calm ocean,
rising and falling rhythmically
and in harmony with the beating of your steady heart
(lovely and loud beneath my right ear).
Despite your woozy ocean waves
and despite your bath water warmth
and despite your arms,
palms no longer up,
wrapped around my rib cage,
I didn’t sleep.
How could I?
Although I could already hear the birds calling,
see the light starting to slip silently across the wall,
I prayed that the sun would never come up
and that you’d never stop me swimming
and that you’d never let go.
The night used to seem like it stretched on forever,
but now it leaves almost as soon as it arrives
the day is never as bright.
My first poem in an incredibly long time
Molly Hughes Feb 2015
Afternoons around the lake feeding the ducks,
throwing crusts from the bottom of a bag
that smells like home.
Scraping down a white wash hill
on a scarlet sledge,
fingers freezing in the spray.
Walking home from school with a lucky bag,
a smile
and a warm hand on my shoulder.
Watching football
with a belly for a bed,
shouting out whenever you did.
Clipping holly best I could
through a fist full of mitten,
from the special bush that we called ours.
Laughing at the funny men
arguing on the telly,
the ones with the bowler hat and the silly face.
Coming home crying
with a splinter in my foot,
saved by a steady hand, a kind word and a needle.
Finishing almost last
in the school fun run,
but still feeling like a winner hearing you cheer my name.
Being able to say
that you're my dad.
Something I wrote for my dad for his birthday. Not sure if it's any good but parents like anything home made and it is definitely from the heart.
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