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Julia Elise Feb 2020
On Wednesday I cried for so long
that I lost my voice afterwards,
With my throat on fire
and my chest sore,
I swallowed 3 pills, a litre of water, then slept for 14 hours and woke up a mess of sweat, clothes and ****.
I don’t know why everything I do is so excessive.
I cancelled 2 job interviews,
Took my cv off of indeed and text my boyfriend:
I’m moving to Madrid, I’ll see you when I see you.
Turned my phone off and found my way back to my cold wet bed.

My dad strangled the **** out of me in my dream,
Chased me down a never ending flight of stairs with a rake
Until I was so tired
I sat on the bannister and put my arm out:
Hit me man I can’t be bothered.

His face went red,
He started pulling out his hair,
His nose grew bulbous
He screeched like foxes
And ripped off his face to reveal a clown mask.
He started doing tricks
I became a baby and clapped my fat sticky hands together:
More more more!
He performed for hours
He grew tired and started vomiting
Rainbows of bile escaping his mouth.
I grew taller and danced
I whooped and sang and tapped my feet in the puddles
Looked down and noticed I was dancing on a lifeless clown body;
And I danced harder.

I woke up in a panic
The clothes on my chair looked like my fathers fat body
In the dark I swear I could hear him screeching.
Julia Elise May 2016
I don't cut my skin for 24 hours, then 48
Then a week
Then two.
Practise abstinence in all forms
No drink, no drugs.
I don't stop my body from jittering and convulsing.
I let myself cry in the shower
Shave my legs without thinking off bleeding
Rest my nose between my mothers worried eyebrows
Kiss her scarred palms
Rub ointment into her feet
And go to bed smelling of lavender and love.
I wake up early, walk round the greenery. I don't open my mouth for 5 hours,
Plant seeds in my mamas garden and meditate where they'll bloom.
I refrain from eating meat. I drink a glass of milk when I wake
A glass before sleep.
I listen to Beyoncé. I watch French films without the subtitles.
Plan holidays.
I whisper prayers into my sleeping boyfriends neck
I go a whole day without thinking about our dead baby.
Walk to the train station and read the newspaper and never once think about jumping in front
Of my oncoming train.

My estranged father posts a status on Facebook, a joke, about choking dominant woman.
I wake up drunk, my arm sticking to a puddle of dried blood.
Cut chunks of flesh out of my forearm and leave a trail from the liquor store to my fathers gambling shop.
The next day I have a sore head, a sore arm. I starve myself for three days and let myself throw up watery bile into the toilet.

I start again.
I don't pick the scabs from my arm. I let red circular scarred skin form
Draw badly designed tattoos and make empty plans to cover them.
I call my friends, tell them how much I adore them, how beautiful and special they are,
How I never want to live a day without them
They call me cheesy. We laugh and make plans but we're all so busy. We hang up.
I practise excessiveness. Make my boyfriend ******. Laugh loudly. Put on too much makeup and spend £50 to eat out alone.
I call my aunties in Guyana. Let them speak for hours about a 'home' I've never been too.
Listen to stories about my mother, and her mother.
They ask me hushed voices if I'm still ill, tell me my mother has spent hours crying to them over me.
I tell them my plans.
Tell them I have a boyfriend.
I am studying. I am working, and loving and laughing.
They sound glad. They put me on to my dying grandmother and she prays for me
Tells me in strong accent that her children show her pictures of me on the computer
She tells me I am beautiful, so beautiful, she tells me I look just like my father.
We pause.
Her voice cracks and she praises Jesus for my health.
We say goodbyes. I promise to make more of an effort. Tell her I will visit her soon. Send my love to everyone and hang up.
I start reading two chapters of a book before bed.
Revisit old poetry. Write new words.
Dream in colour again, sing in the shower again.
I drink a glass of wine with my sisters and fall asleep being held by them.
I mute my father on Facebook.
Now we can start again.
Julia Elise Jan 2015
My daughters are bleeding
over men who mirror their father.
My sons come home
drenched in the smell of illegality,
I wash the blood off of their jeans
weeping love into the red until the stains lift.

My husband’s face is scarred,
it wrinkles like brown tough dates
whilst he reels off stories from home,
he tells his own sons about touching sleeping women.
I wake up on the bathroom floor, stick ******* down my throat
until I can rid myself of his touch.

My country is so far away
and I came here for refuge
but this country does not feed us
and my children are starving.
I worked 52 hours this week
and I should’ve never left home.

My father-in-law blew his brains out,
my mother’s cancer has rotted her from her inside.
My children are growing up and forgetting me,
my small house has grown large without the voices of my children
and I am far from home.
I should’ve never left home.
Julia Elise Nov 2014
He tells me, "i think you are sad."
But i don't know him well enough to whisper my secrets to him, about the waves that crash in my skull for hours on end. And that sometimes i cry because my mothers country is so far away, and i don't feel like home here, but i don't feel home there either and I'm very lost. And maybe that's why i always look confused and hurt. Because my own country does not feed me. And my mother works 52 hours a week and i hear her bones creak from my bedroom but there's only so much i can do with her feet in my lap. So i ignore it and think about my bruises instead.
I could tell him that I'm so so in love with about 7 people at any given time and if you ask me to name them all and tell you their 2am habits i could, but my own secrets are secrets even to myself.
I said 'my skin is so horribly pale im worried people will see how brittle my bones are.' and he looked confused so i left it.
I wanted to write about my father but apparently having 'daddy issues' is a new trend and i don't want to be part of anything that glamourises my mothers scars.
I am both fascinated and terrified of the sea and i think that's why I'm bound to drown one day, because sometimes i truly believe i am a mermaid and its ironic because my swimming is horrendus. But im also interested in knowing what it feels like for my lungs to fill with something other than smoke for once. So i guess im excited about that.
I think when i die they'll say 'she had good intentions'. And leave me to decompose, which i think is the saddest way to go because 'at least she tried' is almost as bad as 'she was pointless'.  And i dont think i want them to say either. I think i want them to be quiet.
I think about the word pointless a lot because its the word that comes to mind when im asked to describe anything.
Mondays are pointless.
Sundays are also pointless.
Saturdays hold so much hope though which I think is why i survived this week.
Julia Elise Nov 2014
-31st to the 4th

this was emptiness. coldness I was unsure about. coldness that hadn't touched me for months.
this was me. fallen. in. love.
for the first time.
this was half naked pictures and beautiful promises I clung to.
(a week ago I was clung to you.)
this was the consequences of the lectures I missed so I could stay in your bed.
this was angry emails.
this was empty poems. like this one.

this was me working hard to be beautiful.
this was you ignoring me. me clinging to others.
this was my need for love and attention.
this was absence.

more sadness. more emptiness.
more flirty messages from numbers that aren't yours.

-8th to the 9th
this was me being stupid. this was another boys jealously. another boys eyes and hands.

-4:30am - 9am
this was my number 2. this was someone new.
this was intimacy at 6am. raw intimacy.
this was us, face to face, smiles like the old romantic movies i hate.
this was him telling me I am 'daunting'. 'unreadable'.
this was honesty.
this was my secrets hung out in the cold air like wet clothes. all of my secrets.
most of my secrets.
this was body heat.
this was what they mean when they talk about intimacy without ***.
this was his hand on my cheek. in my hair. on my thigh.

this is the price of my loneliness.
this is me wanting it all. this is me wanting to taste every body that touches me. this is 2, this is worrying.
Julia Elise Sep 2014
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 **** 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 ******* 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 *****, 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 ***** 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.
Julia Elise Sep 2014
Your god injected poison into me,
Beat my mother to the floor
Spat venom on her whilst she lay shaking and bleeding.

Your god beat the backs of my knees until I was constantly bowing to men who uttered '****', '*****', as if a '*****' had not birthed them.
My legs were bent for so long I didn't even realise my pain until I pulled myself back up again.
I wanted to write more but I feel so so sad I can barely breathe right now.
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