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hole

I watched him die
slowly
six years,
three quarters of my little life
I watched my mother die
next to him
although her body did not decay.
I watched her
ripped apart by love
spit and stamped on by love
I watched her clean up
puddles of love’s vomit
heard her drown in it
wailing for release.
the cries of grief are not made of rocks or sand.

I watched my brother
my sister, die
over the years to come
and I watched myself die, too.
how could you expect us to live
after seeing what life can do?
the rancid stench of sickness
stuck heavy like petrol in our air
the honey of hell
dripping off our tongues.
and what could be done?
we could not ask
Mother for help
because she died that night
just after he turned into yellow stone
she died as his mind bled out his ear
as his eyes, still blinking, became foreign
she died as she fed him (dutifully)
raised us (dutifully)
cleaned him (dutifully)
stacked supermarket shelves (dutifully)
told everyone he was sick and dying (dutifully).
and so it was that she died,
dutifully.

all those little deaths will kill you,
eventually
and you only realise when you ask yourself to love
and there is nothing but a dried up hole
in your heart, where love is supposed to live.
then, the fleeting offer of degradation
seems prettier than the promise of forever.
“you fools don’t know that forever will be what kills you!”
screams the hole, the little mouth
such a loud voice for something so
extinct.

what if he dies those
long little deaths
before my eyes,
dragging me down to hell
as my father did to her?
and I, the fool in love
will I sit dutifully as he dissolves and churns, alone?
a whole life’s sacrifice for love,
only for him to die on me?
my
this psychology is so complex
withered roots tangle and kiss in my
little mouth of little deaths

learned the lesson that love is pain
love is death
love is grief and anguish
and put my theories to the test more than once
proved tout a fait
so suffer, screams the hole.
good reason dictates life is worth it,
suffering only a lesson
just neurons and nerves
but good reason cannot answer to
fear that feels bigger than all of existence
to pain that sets my face on fire,
turns m limbs into twigs and
my breath into acid.

but will you die on this hill, girl?
will you take that left fork
and cut off you arm
to stay alone, safe?
it’s what they all sing about
love, love, love.
and I know now that life is lovely
at the very least
and that good reason
it dictates love is not
always loss.
but I have to feel it
to believe it.

I have to open that gate
oil the rusty hinges
find a compass through the noise
and chatter of death,
let my feelings marry my reason.
life is not living if
controlled by fear, after all
and maybe it is a bird that I need
to string to my wrist
and guide me home.

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itch

05 09 18

you bit me all those years ago
sucked the blood from my heart
permissively, engorged your own
and I scratched away fervently
not letting the scab heal.
I scratched and scratched
until a little hole was formed, junkie-like.
I know better now
you bloodsucker, poison-leaver
heart-fucker
but I cannot unscar skin and muscle.
you are my permanent injury.
I abstain from scratching
but the itch still remains
potent,
as it ever was.

threads

there is a
wall there now
I can’t see it with
my eyes but
I can feel it with
every jangled nerve

your elbow
permeates brick
and cement
to rest on mine
it is rude
and tenacious

you don’t
look at me
the way you
used to
so I wonder if
you felt it too

surely you did
I was picking
shards of cement
out of my hair
for days
on end

the hair on
my skinny forearm
stands up
to attention
soldierly
full of electricity

I look and
the golden threads
on yours
are laying flat
with no
visible disturbance

so I suppose
I won’t spend
any more time
wondering what
you dream of
when you’re alone

honey

your peaceful dreams
they dissolve
like sugar cubes in
below-average cups of tea

and your nightmares,
they stick to you
like hard golden toffees
stick to broken teeth

by now you should know
that sweetness rots your gums
and gives you gaping cavities
that are costly to repair

you may crave the
dripping satisfaction of syrup
in your little mouth
on your little tongue

but do you really want to remember
the honey trickling down your throat
when you are scrutinizing
the size of your hips again?

my darling, no
replace the lid of the biscuit tin
and be grateful that nobody
wants to see beneath your summer dress

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.

knife

alone now.
sea air is a knife,
but a clean blade brings purity to skin

icons are dead.
nostalgia is a knife,
burnt and stuck in heart of existence, before

dream is wrecked.
this city is a knife,
sweet and sharp caresses down trembling sides of lovers

together once.
love was a knife,
carved perfect patterns into the history books we read to others

still alive.
I could be a knife,
on the right hand, aiding divisions, set neatly, for need or want or standby