demerara

he certainly looks a superhero,
defined in blocks of
masculine warmth and prowess
all wrapped up in demerara skin and eyes
but it’s not so dramatic
the way he holds his hand out to
cradle me in my fear
I shine a light to the sky when
I see a burning building in the mist
and he arrives on time
gently turning my face to the present
“darling,
a flame in the oven
does not mean the building burns”.
I don’t know whether to
call you brother or father
or both,
or neither.

neither.

my comrade in doubt and kindness,
I channel strength to you and from you.
your beautiful soul hurts, I
know it does, yet you
are the fireman hero
jumping into the fire despite the
smoke already bleeding in your lungs.
you are the human hero,
you are.
but this does not mean
that you must never be weak.
be weak, my friend
because you can
because you are strong
because you have me and us to
cradle your mind as
you have cradled mine and ours.
we survive always
you help me heal my burns
I see yours itching for ointment.
your kindness could
never be contained by pain.
expand and
let’s let go
and be the
delicate
strong
powerful
tangible
human
embracing heroes
that our children
always wanted to hold onto.

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titanic

a girl
just as lost as I was,
reached out with
a perfectly manicured hand.
queen captain of the new Titanic,
weathering a storm you
could never know
(not even in your worst nightmares).
the lies of boys brought us together
brought us to a three-hour phone
conversation before we even knew
who we were.
that’s not how us damaged girls are
supposed to act, but
even then we knew where
our blood was best directed.
a girl,
with more beauty and soul than
you could ever understand
(or would deserve).
they should be the ones eating our pain
digesting it whole and
letting it fester in their rotten guts
but that
is not how life works, so on
and on we will go.
she does not need to prove anything
to you, but look how she
glimmers in the light as
a pearl
even when you try to cast your shadow.
fuck you,
we live.

torches

yes, she brings me flowers
wrapped tight in a tesco bag
more than one smile
dances on her face, and
so I look and learn there
in that great establishment of education

she never grieves
she lives
she puts pain in the
wicker basket on her bicycle
and cycles into the sun
no matter how heavy it may be

she is a stream, river
and a fountain waterfall all
together at once, not
without mud or silt but
flowing, flowing, flowing always
washing us clean of
our sins and sorrows

with this power of water
she could erode us
but she chooses to make us float
she could drown us
but she chooses to cleanse us
she could guide us foolish sailors to our deaths
but she chooses to hold great torches up as guides

thank god,
thank god for her
I think as milk comes out of my nose
while I snort and shriek with laughter

rope

he is a
wooden a-frame
an old one,
resolutely standing
at the side of
the school hall,
just waiting
to be climbed and clambered upon
by the tenth generation
of children.
you would think
time should have
weathered the pine,
should have
made it splinter and break
but still it retains
its polished surface
and strength,
somehow.

I am
not a wooden a-frame,
more a hanging rope
that burns the hands
and sways unpredictably
fun to climb
hard to
get down from.
but a treasured
piece of
school gym equipment,
nonetheless

stone

stone girl,
you look in the mirror
who do you see there?

do you see
the cracks
in your
nature

do you see
how you filled
them up
with technicolour?

stone girl,
you feel the storm
weathering your heart

I wonder
if you know
how implausibly strong
your barriers are

I wonder
if you feel
your rejections
of splintered wood

stone girl,
you brace the curse
of a compromise

the others
made of clay
could never know
your power

the others
so delicate
when mixed with water
glazed over

stone girl,
you were thrown
into the fire

stone girl,
you came out
at one thousand degrees

stone girl,
if only you could know
what you have defeated