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Silent goodbyes taking the longest to arrive
Like old things,
fading from memory

Some things can only end in silence
Words cause pain,
for those unwilling to let go

It's strange how certainties can become naivety
We can love,
but love can be revealed as a delusion

I no longer miss, think of, nor want you
I love you,
yet somehow I know that I'll forget most of  you

At least you'll be immortal in my ink
A person I no longer call home
Vi Aug 6
I'm afraid that if I die

People wont know things only I know

Like how N likes their carrots

Or how L loves her dad

Only I know this, like this

Of course others know some of this too, some of the time

But no one

Not one single person knows that you

You two

Are perfect

I mean this literally

I was gifted this knowledge when you were born

I know this viscerally, like this.

Or that you're beautiful in ways that make me hate words

In ways that render language hollow, meaningless, obscene

I am not being dramatic.

And also that you are good

By which I mean loveable

Like very and always

Fundamentally, inherently

This is not something you can ever change even though you'll probably try

And you might convince other people

Maybe even your dad, or your therapist, or your lover, or yourself

But you'll never convince me

I don't know why

This isn't something I did, or discovered or worked towards

I just know this

And I need you to know this

In case I die

Which I will eventually.

I hope by then my living knowing will become yours

Because I believe you can know this too

In a way, I know you already do

Its the truth, and the truth is always knowable and always here. Although sometimes we misplace it

So I'm here to remind you, for as long as I'm here

And I'm leaving you this in case you, or I, or death, misplace it.
This is not exactly a will. More like "I cant bear going without you knowing".
remembering
the day after
a date in the grasslands
where our necks
ached on earthy blankets
and legs mottled by sweet kisses
delivered from flies.

my god the
jealousy
that they had known intimacy
of the softness in the calves i took to
sleep that afternoon we met
filled the short
but beautiful
sunset
with melancholy.

maybe here you found
i held codependency quite closely.

so
you took me to one of those superstores
that sell
beds.

                                   "i have a friend who's closing he always makes and double folds the quilt because it makes him feel like someone's mum."

you half shouted over
the motorway behind us- the demanding
yet
secondary conversation.

how
i wondered, did i end up here
                   - the boy i liked 6 months in -
laughing between
his downy hair and tap touchy fingers
now
so proudly leading the way
as his
friend, tired & mischievous
ushered us into the theatre
of infinite fractal bedspreads.

                                                 "hurry up so i can close to give you your privacy i'm going for a smoke."

spoken like any true
east London mum-
all ciggie ash
and true love.

i got to watch you work

which was flattering to say the least.
to stand beside
kings and queens
doubles and singles
being bent
dragged and persuaded
to your whimsy.
watching the curve of a bicep
seized up in delirious rearranging
                         - the muscles of the neck betray the youth of love-
until a masterpiece emerging
before us both
was realised.

                      "at least now we can cuddle without the bugs...or at the least these are bed ones?"

i remember
unwrapping the currently occupied smokers
carefully settled blankets like a first birthday
gift.
sliding under them,
with my shoes kicked away in eagerness.
your arms
not yet scarred with indecision
pull me closer till i forget to breathe....

this is it.
the mattresses connected sheets and sheets and sheets of feeling and this is it at once to cover and unravel against the texture of the cushions the springs the feathers locked away this is it like the words i whispered through the skin of the pillow your arm not so much pinned as smothered below the crook of my neck and this is it all there is is the smell of us in this beautiful moment that latches me to the frame in my mind against my back with the weight of the future this is it the pressing pressing pressing at the touch of our palms the touch of our lips the distances we'll learn to walk alone or together or side by side but not able to look at the path we tread perpendicular to our hearts this is it this is it this is it it it


....then i breathe.
jersey May 18
It’s 02:12 and I don’t think about you anymore.

Except for when I wake up in the morning to texts that aren’t from you.
And when I go to sleep without anyone wishing me sweet dreams.
How did I live so long without these things?
How do I live without them again?

It’s 02:15 and I don’t think about you anymore.

Except for when I’m upset
and you’re the only voice who can soothe me.
Or when I’m happy
and you’re the only person I want to share it with.
Or when I'm simply bored
and I’m in the mood to get on your nerves.
Who do I talk to now?
Why don't I want to talk to anyone else?

It’s 02:21 and I don’t think about you anymore.

Except for when your favorite song plays
and I blast it as high as my speakers go and pretend you’re here listening with me.
These songs don’t comfort me anymore.
They feel like ringing in my ears and knives in my heart.
Why can't I find it in me to skip them?
When will these songs just be songs again?

It’s 02:24 and I don’t think about you anymore.

Except for every second of every day.
There is always something new I want to tell you
but you don’t care anymore.
I keep these thoughts in a log in my head,
“To tell Her later.”
When is later?
Why do I keep lying to myself and pretending there is a later?

It’s 02:27 and I don’t think about you anymore.

Except for when I fall asleep and dream of you.
No one prepared me for the way you’d infiltrate my psyche.
You’ve lodged yourself deep in my subconscious.
Why won’t you leave?
Why won’t I let you leave?

But it’s 02:30 and I don’t think about you anymore.
Allesha Eman May 6
Do you remember when tunneling ravines would flow through our stomachs before we spoke out into the open?
And how vigorously tapping our feet felt like the only way to shake the mountains, daring to bury us alive...
or how when cold shoulders felt like judgment harmonized
and yet the dissonance euphonized in our ears as we swept our heads back into the open arms of the universe,
engulfed by inescapable laughter  

Now things are different; you wear your heart on your sleeve, washing the shores of people and things that scare you with your perpetual confidence,

and I proudly observe in wonder and admiration...

Distantly tapping my feet, fighting ravines, and laughing alone.
SS Jan 19
i used to hate having
     my photo taken

to see every flaw and imperfection on display.

i used to hate
    the photos taken

the ones you glued into our scrapbook.

but now?
i love the photos given

& what they do to me.

for before
it felt like memories stolen

a painful reminder of
love
lost

today?
it reminds me of memories given
all the love we gave

it's scrapbooked in my memory
and brings a smile to my brain

so thank you for the photos taken
as they no longer bring me any pain.
hello, poetry. i'm healing and back home.
Persephone Jan 6
To all the ones who didn’t make it,
Tell me are you finally at peace?
Did the weight of the world truly leave you be?
I’m simply asking because I am one of the ones who did make it
And wonder what would have happened if I didn’t make it?
Has the addiction to be perfect stopped eating you from the inside out?
Or the need to please everyone, by now surely that drive must no longer be around?
To all the ones who didn’t make it, tell me it got easier?
What about the voices, the voices in your head that could never be drowned out, the voices that always told you “you’d never be good enough” for the love of god tell me they finally listened, tell me they finally shut up?
And are you still able to feel numb to all the hurt?
That you don’t have to fight the cravings any longer? Tell me, tell me there is no harm to just giving in?
Tell me, tell me please
To all the ones who didn’t make it, tell me how it was worth it?
Or would you rather ask me first?
Would you rather ask me how warm the sun feels on a lazy august afternoon?
Because you can’t seem to remember what that feels like any longer
Or if the roses still bloom with the promise to smell sweet and to bring the honey bees around?
You’re starting to forget what they look like
What about chocolate you ask, is it still known to melt in your mouth and bring a smile to your face?
At least that is what you think the rumours you heard say
And is laughter with loved ones truly contagious?
It’s been a while since you’ve done it yourself
You go on to ask about blue skies and cozy rainy days
Old teachers that made you fall in love with learning and the ones you’re happy you’ve forgotten about
We discuss friendships new and old and how far they’ve come sadly in your absence
And when I’ve answered all your questions you finally agree to answer mine
But I simply smile and say,
To all the ones who didn’t make it, may you please forget I ever asked?
Mark Toney Oct 2021
My dreams are bright
feather light
at night
conditions right
Carefree
Mind free
Life's challenges
to be won
Feeling warmth
from noonday sun

I dream of water
floating
boating
with Dad
Sparkle Lake
water ripples
Lost Dad
Double nickels
Still sad
Memory trickles

I dream of sky
Fly
High
Cropduster
Single prop
Big John
Name drop
Macho swagger
Li’l Baby
Taildragger

I dream in hues
greens, blues
Love so true
dancing with you
Faces aglow
manhattans flow
******—
Need a drummer
Low-rent venues
party continues

I dream less bright
feather light
at night
conditions right
Carefree
Mind free
As when I
was young
Colder now
in the setting sun




Mark Toney © 2021
Poetry form: Free Verse - Mark Toney © 2021
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