The saying does go
‘better the devil you know’
And sure to god
a fire was lit within me.
Sometimes you'd miss familiar monsters.
Sometimes you'd be suspicious
of the finer things,
of the promises often promised,
made now. But for why?
What changed, when I paid
nothing for it.
I'd almost miss
the curled up ball,
the loneliness in the dark night.
That's all I knew back then.
This feeling of content --
it feels fake, nerves I never used
Your standard suburban background,
row after row of identical
Names made up by the council.
Applewood. River Valley. Manor.
Control-V town, with cheap rent,
public housing, the occasional
café desperate to gentrify
and the same shopping centre
as everywhere else in Europe.
You argue like a gang member –
everyone here does. Except
when you’re at home
and back in your immigrant tongue.
The white noise is honey to me.
Watching planes fly from the airport –
magic in this urban wasteland.
You buy me chips with extra vinegar.
Love pours out from my throat,
slick and rainbowed like an oil spill.
Repeated routine paints
the flurry of butterflies greyer
by the day they settle
further and so much quieter, you might
mistake them for trapped air.
My hand on your chest,
eyes on your big brown eyes,
and your eyes on the squeaking bed.
Look at me, I’m afraid of the waxing,
waning of this supposedly unconditional love.
Is this just the practice run, slow
build up until real life takes hold?
Maybe it's just the dull winter
pouring dishwater on our embers,
or your parents in the next bedroom.
Will you get tired
of collecting me at the airport, and forget
to overlook my untethered views.
It’s not exciting is it, really? The M1 Belfast
to Dublin bus every Friday at 2 o’clock.
Bless you, child.
The lines of your palm
a yellow legal pad
I want to write down my life on
to sign myself over to you
in the one moment. The next—
L'appel du vide.
I am not a girl supposed to be tied down.
Yet you coax me with your frankness.
It frightens me, your realness
I would like to blow you like a puff of smoke
and watch you drift into fog
with your commitment.
With your leases and your plans
and your baby names and your mortgage
and your job
and the way you admit you may
not love me in a year or ten.
Well I may not love you in a day
I say, praying I seem nonchalant.
Your adoration wraps me up,
seems we were made to be
yet you’ve heard how the proverbs go
I do not like the thought of growing old.
My perpetual sadness will always
tighten its grip on the rope, you know
the brightest flame is always fastest cold.
I was never a believer
but your breath in my ear
is a sacred prayer I'll remember
and repeat to myself
in my darker hours. Homesick,
lonely and craving
the ****** of your skin
on my skin. The pain disappears
when you touch me.
at night because you love me.
There will be no right moment
to throw yourself headfirst into darkness.
To go feeling along the walls
of an unlit room—
hands sliding through cobwebs,
feet shuffling forward
praying the floor does not suddenly give way
to stomach churning nothingness.
You must just go.
Listen to the voice of your lover
honey tongue calling out in the emptiness,
let your steps grow faster.
Run toward the abyss.
You can't accept this void within your mind.
And you will feel his hands soon,
let them guide you.
The cold creeps in.
Familiar friend, that same despair.
My heart folds in
on itself — an origami thing, flipped
and smoothed out by the fidgety
hands of a girl needing distracting.
For the first time in my life
that I remember, I am quite sure
I do not want to die.
God knows why. Maybe it was
seeing her in the casket,
hearing the noiseless howling.
Or maybe you are the meaning of life.
When you chastise me for staring
because I can't tear my eyes away
for fear I might blink and be dreaming,
or that you might not want to stay.
If I let go you might leave me.
I'm petrified of the cliff edge
of tumbling into the water
and hitting the rocks on the bottom.
I love you.
Oh my God, I love you.
What have I got myself into?