A shadow falls on a life worth living,
And expels itself to a being new.
A face cold and pale that once was youthful,
Attributes harrow to those in view.
A newborn's cry may be distressing,
but why be fearful, as it's still.
It will not be yet still forever,
and peace will come when it is through.
A life to live while it is living,
a death to die when it is due.
When a silenced voice is gone forever,
why be silent while life is new.
You're not who you were.
You're not who you will be.
You're part way up your steep frail stair
And always will be.
You're a part completed work.
You're perfect as you are.
You're emerging as from aged oak block,
A part-seen piece of art.
You're a faint chime in the wind.
You're a symphony by Brahms.
You're an orchestra tuning up
At last night at the proms.
I love you as you are.
I love all you will grow to be.
As I hold you in my arms
Lost in your newborn beauty.
They stand, the two of them, enveloped. Their bodies the segments of an orange before
ripped apart by delicate, hungry fingertips.
It is rush hour in Brixton and as she leans against this
unsteady machine, he holds her as if her limbs might fracture and fall
and land at their feet,
as if they might become neighbours to the newspapers and trodden gum that have
made their home there, dirty, discarded, at ease.
Silhouette quietly nestled into his frame, sharing shadows
she, is elsewhere.
Gaze transfixed by a small being in front. A tiny entity that holds all of her undying
attention. Her lips bitten down to their core,
skin replaced by yearning and fear and a tenderness that you could touch.
The child’s tangerine lips waver hesitantly and then burst open, releasing a giggle
that sounds like fallen dust in sunlight, if it had a sound.
The space between them becomes a mirror, so much that the infant’s mother
looks like she has just learnt the definition of the word ‘envy’.
The tube falls into the station, and the passengers are squeezed out:
a frenzy of rushed beings in their most natural, narcissistic state.
From across the platform in rush hour, the train leaner is a mother.
And in her arms, oblivious, her lover.
"My daddy hugs me,"
Is was the little boy in the dress states,
But no stars alight in his eyes
To dance along with the glee in his voice.
"My mommy says I am handsome,"
Is what the child sing-song out,
But his scratching at his arms,
Trying to rid them of the words, 'Freak' and 'Fag.'
"My brothers play with me,"
The little boy declares confidently,
But you can see the dirty scabs on his elbows,
From being pushed into the ground far to roughly.
"My sister loves me,"
The boy in the little dress whispers out,
But by now they tears are streaming down,
Because the dam finally came crashing down.
so you wanted a rose tattoo
but you never got one
you thought eventually you would
but not now
you thought you had time
but you never got one
because eventually never came
and now meant ever
we thought you had time
you were in the hospital bed
chemo always keeping you company
but you knew that hospital bed wouldn't be there soon
and now you're in the clouds
my cousin wanted a tattoo
but she couldn't decide what to get
you told her just get one already
because life is too short to not do what you want
one week later
you were gone
we were broken
and you looked over all of us
my cousin listened to you
she got that tattoo
so that you're always with her
oh those angel wings
you wanted a rose tattoo
just on your ankle
but you never got it
because time ran out
you never got the chance
to truly do what you wanted
to be wild
and feel free
so I'm getting a rose tattoo
just on my ankle
because next summer
it will be 10 years
10 years ago
you told my cousin to live her life
10 years ago
your life was taken
I'm getting a rose tattoo
with your birth date
going up along the stem
the stem will be dark green
but the rose will be red
and fully bloomed
because you didn't have a great past
but i know you're free now
can become smooth
so i want a rose tattoo
and I'm getting it next summer
because 10 years ago
my mom didn't live out her life like she wanted
so i will for her
I was a child
In my found-footage memory
Guided by lights
From my house of stone
Outside my bedroom window
Man of straw
Melting in my grasp
A trembling hand
Running through my hair
A shuddering wind
Cutting through the sheets
The skylight darkening
But never speaking the words
On Mother's Day we bled into night like birthday candle silence
making wishes on little white pills and making promises not to lead one another astray and
I left you like yesterday's tobacco butts on beach sand
I left you like I leave funerals and when I tried to come back you left me like lightning.
Two months of popped balloons and unfamiliar mirror scars
and I was born again with my mother's hands
But this time, my skin shrank
my decisions grew into loud language and graveyard shoeboxes
underneath bedsheets, floorboards, concrete, and vomit.
I began to pause in unending time and find you there,
in the pauses
My dear daughter
I've wept and protested for fifty-six days
imagining your skin alive, a child's smile, a mother's hands.
But the world told me I just don't have the ability to use them correctly
and I believed it.
So I'm sorry I brought you into a world that wouldn't let me keep you
and I'm sorry I became so small I couldn't bear you.
And I'm sorry on Mother's Day we didn't dance into night like birthday candle whispers.
I know it's what we both wanted.