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sick

sick
sick
sick
for years, I couldn’t even type that word
let alone say vomit out loud
I trawled endless forums
full of people like me
so terrified of the power of it
that they replaced the latter half of the word
with an asterisk.
v*
like Voldemort
the bodily function that must not be named
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and still now,
fifteen years after I hid in the living room
behind the itchy green sofa
listening to you moan as
mother and sister heaved you up
out of a stinking pool of chemo-puke
the smell permeating through the wall,
I am still sitting and fucking shivering
at the mention of a stomach ache
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to let it steal
any more hours from my life
I don’t want to spend hours cycling
through every single thing I’ve touched in
the last forty-eight hours
I don’t want to lie awake with
poisonous adrenaline pumping through my blood
I don’t want to.
I don’t want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to lie awake
convincing myself that my
obsessive handwashing will save me
I don’t want to
explain to him why I stay up for hours
paralysed with fear
I don’t want to
explain to him that there have been times
I thought I’d rather die
than spend a minute with my head in a toilet
I don’t want to anymore
I don’t
fucking want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and I don’t want it
anymore.

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ashes

year after year
I drop
cigarette ashes
and salt water
on your portrait.

is this not
a potent enough
concoction?
is this not
the spell
that will work?

my arms are dirty
with the
tea stains
you left behind,
no
vanishing solution
to clear them.

my lungs
and heart
they perished
along
with your
yellow skin.

but mine
emptied of
organs,
travels onward
despite complaint.

there was
no need
to breathe in.
no need to
beat.

the lesson
was learned
then,
in a hot room
of lilies
and machines.

the fifteen holes
in organs
rotten from suffering
tighten into
scar tissue.

they are
you
as I am
you.

I will
visit again
soon.

mud

grief makes
your heart
sick
not sick
enough to stop beating and
kill you,
just sick
enough to suffer

grief makes
the veins collapse
makes them sticky,
so they
punish you
lest you forget
what you have
loved most
and lost

lest you forget,
as if you could
when you feel your
blood choking you
again
and you wonder
why you
are sentenced to die
so slowly.