Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Thushena Sep 2015
We speak in tongues, you and I.
We sip coffee from old paper cups and talk about the afterlife.
We bring our scalded mouths together and I taste the entire universe;
I hear static; everything around us is drowning in hot, syrupy light.

what have you done to me?
My hands are coming undone, my legs are wrapping themselves around your waist; I want to melt into the night sky;
I want to morph into something bigger, something whole and beautiful, I want to sink deep beneath the ocean and feel electric blue water flood my lungs.

There is sea-salt stuck in my throat and you are spilling aquamarine;
you are rolling waves around in the palms of your hands;
you ebb and flow gently against scarred skin.

I rest my head against your chest and
you say; here and now is safe
you say; ‘stay and we can paint stars onto our backs’

I run my fingers through your tangled hair and think about how much this feels like coming home.
Thushena Jul 2015
i) You talk about soft-serve ice cream in summer and all I can think about is the way your hands tremble each time you touch me; what are you so afraid of? You shake your head and lick cone-crumbs off your lips. I think I like you a little too much.

ii) Lily once told me that you were obsessed with aliens; fascinated by the idea that there were other forms of life in the Universe. I lie down on soft grass, look up into the darkness, and wonder if there is a possibility of ‘us’ in another galaxy.

iii) You are all curves, soft edges, and electric blue hair; so how exactly do you manage to cause this ache in my chest each time you take off in the morning to be with him? My brother sees me curled up with bottles of bourbon by the side of my bed, and says that I should stop loving you. I don’t know how to.

iv) When things finally end, it is one in the morning and we are sitting on the boardwalk, sipping coke from glass bottles, pausing to taste each other’s lips every now and then. You tell me you’ll miss me and all I want to do is disappear, into one of those galaxies you constantly think about. Instead, I grab my satin camisole off your lap, pull it over my head, and run.  

v) The whole way home, I practise letting you go.
  Jul 2015 Thushena
This story begins and ends
in a place that does not exist
darling, I didn't listen to this song enough
there's a graze under my ribs I should feel
but there is nothing,
only the aftermath of a sunset
you are one year older yet
you are seventeen forever
severe tranquility aged youth
heartbeats sweat,
something's ripped inside your chest
you are still alive

It’s not so bad to grasp anything
that doesn’t look like sunshine
you are moonlight, waxen frowns, muddied shoes
the tremors in my toes

where are you in the mountains?
come back, come home.

I think these bleach scrubbed walls
will hold the memory of how
I have always longed to look you in the eyes
and wished for something more
this place will always make my heart leap
it has been a year and all I can think about is
how much I have waited on a boy so beautiful
every time I look at him I feel something in my chest give way.

This is the tragedy of falling in love
a whirlpool of desolation
and an abysmal sadness
somewhere in the mountains
you think you hear someone calling out your name
It’s me, I’m here
and this story will end when you come home.
Thushena Jul 2015
I think we all become different versions of ourselves for different people; and maybe that’s not such a bad thing, because I turned into ‘mystery girl’ for you.

I killed the good experiences, spoke only of the ones that left a bitter taste in my mouth. When you called, I’d answer with a sigh, as if I was doing more important things in the world than you. I got a tattoo on the inside of my thigh, a dragon painted indigo; and you made sure to kiss that spot every time we got drunk. I’m not sure what that says about you.

You were all the novels I’d devoured when I was a kid;
I could never really put you down. I wanted to sit you on my lap and read for the rest of my life.

You were an amalgamation of neediness and broken bottles,
But I think I loved you anyway. I loved the way you stuttered when you were nervous, and the way your cheeks turned fuchsia when you accidentally walked in on me in the shower. I loved that you carried me home, each time I got too empty and let the alcohol fill me up, in place of hot soup and a book in bed. You said, ‘sometimes, routine can ****.’

See, I’d never met a boy who made me think about the world, who made me think about beached whales and constellations and about how the moon can actually drive people insane. I wanted to be someone who made you think too.

So I buried myself in layers, piled them on generously, because I thought that maybe then, you would stay to watch me unravel, stay to discover why I wrote poetry on the back of my hands, why I was obsessed with the idea of leaving places indefinitely, why my mind came to a complete halt every single time you pressed your lips to my neck.

You got caught on a hinge somewhere between the third and fourth layers, and so I ripped myself open, got rid of the tight skirts and burgundy lipstick. Stopped leaving bite marks on your back, and planted kisses instead. I started being me, only when I realized, you never really intended to stay.
Thushena Jun 2015
i) do you remember? that night in the abandoned theatre; we were two bodies in the dark, tugging and pulling at each other; at all our rough edges, hoping to smooth them out, so we wouldn’t cut ourselves with the jagged bits.

ii) when the stars came out, we sipped on lime soda by the lake and I asked if you would love me; all ripped jeans, and messy hair. You laughed, and planted a hickey on my chest; I left it at that.

iii) why didn’t you tell me you preferred soft and meek; not loud and roaring, the way my voice filled up the empty rooms in your house. You could’ve told me you wanted peony pink not plum; that you wanted the moon, not the sun.

iv) but darling, I wasn’t meant to cave, to shrink, to make myself small.

v) so no, I’m not sorry, that my opinions occupy most of the space in bed, or that sometimes, I like kissing with my lips tinted cherry red. I will not apologize for my reluctance to get down on my knees for you; the last time I checked, you were not a ******* pew.

vi) and each time you kiss her neck now, I hope you remember what it was like to kiss mine, I hope you remember each and every groove that lies along the edges of my spine.
Thushena Jun 2015
the night
your mom walked out the door
in her paisley dress,
she brushed you off her shoulders so easily,
it made you wonder how long she had been practising.

you still think about how
you weren't the only thing that fell off
the peaks of her bony shoulders;
birthday cards, goodnight kisses, home-made banana bread,
these things lay dead on the staircase she walked down too.

so you try to be kinder;
wait for me to finish my sentences;
make me pasta dinners when I come home;
all messy hair and tired eyes,
so exhausted from trying to love myself.

but I want you to know
that you don't have to love me too hard;
don't have to shove love into my crevices,
to make up for the love your mama never gave you.

so be kind to yourself;
try to get out of bed at a decent time,
make yourself some hot cereal for breakfast.

stop waiting for me to come home;
for my voice to echo through the hall and fill up
the empty spaces in your heart;
the ones you always trip over.

put on a new shirt,
go outside,
and sit by the park bench;
you can always go back
to writing poems,
like you used to.

stop waiting for me to come home;
stop waiting around for someone to love,
you can fill yourself up first;
and rip out the weeds that lace your lungs;

I'll be right beside you,
armed with metaphorical shears
and tangible kisses,
but you've got to promise me,
that you'll learn how to love yourself first.
Thushena Jun 2015
i) Tell me what you think about when you can't go to sleep at night. When you're on your bed, staring up at the ceiling, heat reverberating off the skin on your body. Desperation hanging off your lips; her name rolling violently around the inside of your mouth like a storm, pausing every now and then to dangle treacherously off the edges of your tongue. Why are you still sleeping with her ghost darling? I wish you would stop missing her so much sometimes.

ii) These days, you get out of bed at 2 in the morning and head to the liquor store down the street with my red flannel wrapped around your waist. I don't know how long you're gone but you wake me with whiskey-tinged kisses and bloodshot eyes. I tell myself this is just a phase, that loving a sad person isn't that hard really, but when I'm in the shower scrubbing her name off my skin with warm water and soap, I can hear you calling out for her, in a drunken stupor, as you stretch your lanky arms out to my side of the bed. I tell myself things will get better.

iii) We visit her grave on Wednesday. I make you tomato sandwiches for the ride and pick dandelions off the sidewalk because I know they're her favourite; you've mentioned it at least ten times. When we get there, you're on your knees, head buried into the soft grass, I'm not sure if you're crying, I don't want to know. The dandelions now lie crushed within the creases of your palms, and I start to wonder if the sadness that's tucked behind the corners of your ears will ever dissipate.

iv) On the car ride home, you won't shut up. "she's dead, she's dead, she's dead," you keep muttering in short, frayed breaths. I don't know what else to do, so I put on some music, slide my hand into yours and feel your fingers tighten around mine. "I can feel her slipping away," you say, and I think about how that's not such a bad thing.

vi) You're tired when we finally reach the door, and your eyes are droopy; you almost can't walk. So I guide you to our room; one hand on the small of your back, the other wrapped around your waist. I tuck you into bed, and make sure your blanket covers the peaks of your toes.

vii)You've drifted off into nothingness, you're sleeping in soft and heavy breaths now. Her name escapes from the gap between your lips, and a sigh escapes from mine. I can't help but wonder if this is what loving a ghost feels like.
Next page