in the comfort of cotton too hot
in the sanctuary of these four walls
pristine like the underside of a clamshell,
the trees framed by the window are
nothing more than an artist’s rendering.
there is more to be done here:
the cracked cranium, the leaky sink
the chipped bed-frame, the dust-
oh the dust is everywhere, multiplying,
born of things decaying.
like clockwork i make the rounds
spiralling inwards indefinitely.
i live by the sliver of sun,
the flickering bulb as i chase
my shadow friends
i am the eye of a storm,
snapping branches- my arms!
Crouched, fearsome, lioness!
Stitching together your mother’s clothes,
spear-heading into the unknown
with nimble fingers and a triumphant smile.
You say: we have won, daughters,
collecting trauma like trophies,
like charms dangling round your wrist.
You beat your chest, soft as pillows,
roaring at the moon:
For your sunshine, my daughter,
I rise again.
rubber rolls –
the butcher’s best!
heaving slabs of
a collar of spit
a beggar’s garb,
mucous fingers and
pancake batter for arms
i wish i could swallow.
there’s room in the pit,
a boulder in my chest
i am worried for this spirit
so thin you could not hold it.
I want to be in control of how I feel
because I’m still angry and I hate anger
and I hate that you’re the reason –
didn’t I always want to be a strong girl
who can love without flinching,
a smart girl who can pick her own battles
but I’m hurt every time I hope for the best in you
and I’m losing when it’s not a game,
worse still because I see your goodness –
just not in the way I need it most.
I envy how you compartmentalize me,
minimize me, set me aside as if for paint to dry
until you decide to miss me, us, our something.
But as much as it would diminish the hurt,
I would not trade it for how cruel you can be.
You know when your body tells you something and you can’t read it? Like, when you’re craving coffee does this mean ‘more’ or does this mean ‘rest’? It’s like walking along with your earphones in and snapping your neck at the sound of a siren, forgetting for a moment that it’s part of the song. Like, when you roll out of bed with him and you wonder: is this lust or love? Do I hate the professor or do I hate the challenge? And then you decide that this is it, this is the reason. “I’m just on my period” and the room is silenced. She taps you on the shoulder and cocks her head. “Hey, why aren’t you outside with the rest of us?” She hands you a beer. “I don’t know, I just want to be alone for a bit”. And it’s the perfect answer for the chronically inadequate. It’s like going vegan because you believe the body should be meatless. Do you know what it’s like to eat plenty but still feel empty?
I put my feet up on the chairs not out of blatant disrespect.
If I were an infant, would you be more forgiving?
I retreat into my sheets, just thinking about the marathon of a day.
The list of things I’ve failed to do grows like my laundry pile.
Maybe I just won’t do anything; I’ll never leave this bed.
I shrug off ugly feelings when boys don’t approach me.
I can’t seem to focus today; my thoughts are vortexes.
I must propel myself above the storm-
like rising from a pool using just my arms.
If I were depressed, would you expect me to?
One thing led to another,
or several things in four dimensions,
and it feels like it’s your fault.
Sometimes mine, you’d agree.
I don’t know who said what first,
or who missed a beat.
For the hopeful, “later” means “soon”
and “no” means “yes”.
I mean what I say-
Are you a hopeful too?
I have my theories as to why
people are cold and step on toes
but I only know what I’ve got
and not how we got here.
There is no sequence:
Minds are not equipped for when
things happen all at once.
It’s like opening your mouth
when your jaws are locked.
It’s like screaming
when the music is too loud.
It’s this tangled feeling like,
I want to love you
but I can’t stand you.
And I don’t know how to fix it.
Before we fuck,
anoint my faithful heart;
thank you, heart, for your persistence,
study the configuration of my soul;
thank you, God, for your gentle breath,
cherish my thoughtful mind;
thank you, mind, for minding.
Touch me with compassion and
caress my misfolded thoughts.
Know me, love me, honour me.
Then, use me because I love you.