I am Your Biggest Fan

Sometimes your boyfriend turns to you with a smile
And you’re struck again by one of these little lightning flashes
Between your sweet little faces.
Go on, envisage it.
Ka-pow.

I am your biggest fan, friend,
And I have plastered the insides of my body with your merchandise
I have my favourite track, your heartbeat
On repeat in my mind,
And the walls of my heart are covered in your posters.

I’m regrettably one of those screaming fangirls,
I cry, I weep,
If you’re asleep I turn the CD on to listen to you breathe,
Over and over again.
This cheesy poem should be your next Number One Hit,

And there’s no other chick
Who’s into your earliest work,
I’d wear you on my t-shirt if you were selling them,
I’d have an arrow on my forehead
Saying “I’m With This Guy!”

I scribble notes like this,
Stuff on my wordpress,
So that people will read and think “What a creepy kid”
Or understand that this poem is about how much
I love to sit next to you in your blues,

Kick the dark streets under a full moon,
Take me to the movies, take me to Paris,
Tell me what’s worth it,
If we were, we’d be Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
Your eyes are all Sinatra

And they sing it,
They sing pretty tunes and your body’s music
Is what I only want to listen to.
Nobody knows the freckles on your back like I do,
Nobody has the research,
You’re my lost artefact, my forbidden kiss, my history

Nobody knows how running fingers through your hair
Is like running through the waves where the riptide welcomes you like a lover
I am your biggest fan, obsessive is my nature,
I own every album of your kisses, every biography of your secrets,
Every film you’ve stepped in to dance with me,

I learned your choreography,
Picked up similar itches, habits, behaviour,
I can do “The Right Arm/Neck Pinching”
I can do it all,
And there’s nobody else who can.

Sometimes your boyfriend turns to you in tears,
And that lightning flash strikes your boyfriend-poster heart

And all he needs to hear is that you’re his biggest fan, y’know?

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Grey Eyes For You

You have grey eyes for me,
They’re all cloud and Cornwall in the rain
And I love them as if they were my freshwater pearls
And I watch them sparkle like the Moon,
I can eat you with your eyes,
Your stars are my apéritif.

And I take a bite of that glorious night sky
Drenching you,
Drenching our kiss,
And I feel my heart tug harder, as if it were to bounce out of its cavity,
I feel the thunderstorms
And you’re the eye of the hurricane.

You’re that cool fog gliding across morning,
You’re a clean daisy,
Water running from silver taps,
And the taste of condensation on a mountaintop.
Grey eyes for you, they’re pretty.

Like constellations and Poland,
Like old marble, thick lenses, liquid mercury
As yummy as you.
Sometimes you flash a light shade of blue to keep it busy.
Like you’ve locked the sky into your irises for the day.

I think grey’s a pensive colour,
Not so depressing unless you blacken it a little.
But light grey, is surprisingly sweet.
Like dew.
Like a half-hearted smile.
Thoughtful like you.
Freshwater, and young.

I Want To Turn My Frown Upside Down and Just Ignore the News For Once and Eat Cake Without Feeling Guilty Because I Should Be Losing Weight Not For Myself But For Society’s View That I Should Be Thin So I Look Hot For People I Don’t Care About Because I Don’t Live In A Society That Cares About Each Other, But The Opinions Strangers Have Of You Based On Your Double Chin and Size 14 Jeans

I take a drag.
I feel flimsy, like satin, like crinkly skin.
And I am sick of hearing bad news on internet links and TV.
I’m not ignoring that life is shit for some people.
And if I could remove the pain with a click of my tongue,
I would.

I’m just waiting for a story about how a raindrop slides down a shard of sweetgrass.

Or an article on how butterflies grow.
Or a psychology report on how the sound of children’s laughter heals.
Or how good a slice of chocolate cake tastes indoors by the fire on a rainy day.

I crack my bones under the stress,
I read the pages of deaths,
The animals disappearing like sweets,
And racism as real as the colour red.
I feel the heavy dry bones of bankers sweat under their millions,
And the hungry bellies of the poor rock and creak like shipwrecks
Thousands of leagues deep in the oceans.
I look through the ignorance like it were the front page of a magazine,
And I stare through the shine of gossip
As though tabloids were smacking my lips with naked-bitch cherry gloss.
I taste the murders and the dictators
Like the government stuffed my mouth with soil,
And I want to breathe but as I do
I’m inhaling the pollution of the clouds and the sky from a billion factories
Chugging away on giant cigarettes, guiding the industry like stars,
I’m suffocating on the ice caps and the polar bears dropping like daisies
And the rapes of defenceless men and women scattering the news like heroin injections
And poverty as black as tar
Money thrown away by the council by merging two great lanes into one unhelpful one…
I hear the screams, I know that Syria’s being hammered into the Earth’s core
To disappear like Atlantis,
We turn away the migrants we can’t keep because we’re already bulging,
When they’re fleeing from the outbreaks of wars we created,
And I breathe in the extinction and feel the cyanide of events course through my brain.

And I just really want to be inhaling birds singing,
And wedding bells, and “Good morning”
And snuggles in bed and lie-ins and children on swings
And trees shaking in soft breezes that brush my cheek like the soft fur
Of puppies licking my face
And creme brûlées cracking with teaspoons,
And rainfall on canals and presidents and prime ministers shaking hands
And hugging in public
And “thank you” and “allow me”
I should inhale star gazing and rose blooms and quiet whispers of snow fall
And flakes as cute as kisses
And reunion, celebration, champagne glasses clinking like a pair of blue eyes blinking,
And love.

But here I sit, 1 am and I’m flicking through this news feed and see Farah’s shared several depressing posts and raising awareness,
And I’m so aware that I’m tumbling into that dark hole of wanting to be ignorant.
I see Corin’s shared the breast cancer video,
Facebook’s trending news, another person has died, another shooting,
Another recession, Greece is losing out and the USA isn’t putting down its gun.
And the disease and the pain,
And the tears we all shed.

Sometimes I really want to just laugh. And not know about protruding ribs of babies and domestic abuse.

Sometimes I just want to cast a shadow over the bad stuff, forget its happening,
And watch the sunset with my loved ones with a bag of marshmallows in my hand.

We Were Criminals

I’m ready to confront it.
That somebody lit a match between our lips
And you held my face in your hands
We stared at it,
Blew it down. Like a wish.

I heard you dice the coke with my debit cards,
I saw you counting the dinars at the table,
I heard you yelling that there’s not enough for another meal,
I went back to England to waste another £60 on a phone call

You wouldn’t give a fuck about.

But before then we had our hearts crowing,
Like our families had us farmed in cages,
And this is the result. We can’t stand on our own two feet.
Somebody lit a match between our lips

And the flame was as good as a kiss.
We were criminals. And we stole each other.
Bludgeoned our own heads.
Threw the gasoline on our torsos.

Who put the fire on our bodies, though, cutie?

We were killing them.
They couldn’t handle the wildfire. It made em’ green with jealousy.
Children dead in our arms, and a look of Scarface in you.
What’s happened to your face?

We never shared Christmas,
You were too damaged to love it,
And nobody could handle our fifth degree love,
Oh we burned down everything when we ended,

They say we disappeared quicker than sleep.

But when it came down to it,
Peace restored,
And we bypassed our sentence,
Sharing the cell together,

We paced each other’s arteries like the slab floor,
Jangled the keys between our teeth,
V-Day would come, the hospital’s saved everyone,
Carefree like kids with red paint,

And we went home.

And it boiled down to me cooking dinner. Wiping a table clean.
Became a Good Wife, held your hand,
Promised you babies or somethin’ like that,
And I put my machetes and even my favourite 44. Magnum away for another day.

Until. Christmas comes again.
And I’m about to make a dish of potatoes.
And you don’t give a shit about me but the gift.
Like I could ever change this pair of tits.

So its a blonde you prefer,
Well this dinner ain’t fit to serve,
And I’m not going to rehab after this one,
Hand me the car keys.

I want to stick my semi-automatic into your nose
And shoot to the point you bleed kerosene,
Trip down Memory Lane, we were criminals remember,
I lit that match between our faces.

So we never had anything shared,
I roasted my heart and you didn’t care,
I’m loading the pistol, I’m about to blow,
Where’s the money? Where’s the extra stock?

Glock G22, Raptor II, gimme my fucking Colt
I’m so mad I’m about to choke
On my own bullets here, thinking I was all dear,
And I’m about as meaningful to you as that cumstain on my patchwork pillow.

I said Christmas meant fuck all to you,
You were too burned, with another fucking religion,
I don’t fucking like Christ but I want a tree in my house,
And I’m only throwing money away at Armani for you,

You said it was forever, like Satan in my head repeats it,
And I know since I picked the apple you’d love me,
But you were the snake,
And I’ve been cheating on Adam with you.

It’s all you ever do.
You vowed we were each other’s spots,
Like lady birds,
And I know when you lie, you laugh hard,

We were criminals,
And the flame’s dropping to the soaked gasoline tiles,
“I love you” and a drop of a kiss,
SO MUCH FOR PRETTY PROMISES!

I know you,
I bought you that shirt,

And she wore it too.

For People Who Don’t Understand My Poetry

(NB. I don’t expect people to understand my poetry, I know many of you understand Personal Problems, I think that’s because I write about school, and people we mutually know. Or you understand what it feels like to have no friends, or a boyfriend uninterested in you, or to be called ugly. Or if you know its you I’m talking about. I’ve had stick for writing about myself. The terms ‘expressing oneself’ sound pretentious to me, but I’m doing exactly just that. And I’m not going to apologise for anything I’m doing now. But how do you begin to understand poetry when I compare somebody to a grape?)

Reading into feelings would be like figuring out a jigsaw,
Where there’s 5000 pieces, and 6 are missing,
But you don’t know which.
And what’s worse, you haven’t got the box to work the image from.

I want to strip the sky back sometimes, the wallpaper God put up is getting old
And it may be ever-changing like Harry Potter’s bewitched ceiling in the Great Hall
But I would like, for once, to see the waves and fish shiver across sunset.
Understand me yet?

I want change.

I met a little girl the other day, at a birthday party.
She was as lovely as a grape. (You see where I’m going with this?)
And as innocent as a white feather.
She tried to braid my hair, pretending she could plait, when she was actually twisting,

And she made friends easily, she glued them to her as though they were sequins
And she had long lovely curls,
And she played with balloons all day.
I think there’s a link here. I promise you, I’m not going off on a tangent.

Well I used to be that little girl.

I want to be a child again.
Grapes are sweet, grapes are moreish, one grape isn’t enough.
I need the whole bunch.
And feathers are soft, they are pure,

Whiter than weddings.
Happy.
Dreamy.
Understand me?

When I look back on high school,
I think about how much people felt the need to talk. About themselves, or other people.
I think about how much noise I made, myself.
I think the opinion of me was split,

Into either annoying, weird or funny.
They would intersect at times.
And when people would compare me to Marmite…
…I think those people didn’t know me at all.

People love me, like strawberry jam, like carnations, like parties
People hate me, like mosquitoes, like slush in the road, like blisters.
People are indifferent like weather,
People don’t know me but would like to, others not so much,
The diversity you find is really key here,
And I think this fact is as simple as 2 + 2.

That I am far more complex than a simple spread that you keep at the back of your bread cupboard.
That I’m more than annoying. I’m more than weird. I’m more than funny.

I believe in fame and fairies,
In God and power
And the freedom to laugh and love
And to hang your exes on the washing line to dry,

And you don’t understand this metaphor,
But think about it,
You wear your boyfriend, girlfriend, like a t-shirt, on repeat
And eventually you have to wash it

Then it shrinks, its crumpled,
And the colour and softness isn’t what it was,
Its no longer the most recent thing you bought from Forever 21
Or Burton, or Levi’s, or bloody Banana Republic…

It ends up at the back of the wardrobe
And you return home with new purchases,
Picking people to love is like retail therapy sometimes,
We take shots and with the liquor we snatch its confused kisses

From finding comfort in the arms of somebody else.
You wear your other halves.
And you even try to last for as many years as you can
So you can say, “We’ve been together for 4 years”.

I believe you’ll find a pair of pyjamas one day that you won’t ever want to take off.

For people who don’t understand my poetry,
Surely you’ve cried over spilt milk or thought to yourselves when you read this poetry, “This girl is pathetic”,
Ah teenager, you’re an adult at 26, not 20, not 18.
And 17 year olds do not deserve Mini Coopers.

I can’t wait to see Daddy pay your insurance bill.
But, I like you for being openly rich and admitting it, Dad’s got a great job.
And whatever school tells you, being a Monitor or a Prefect
Is about as useful as having chafed thighs.

In some ways, not all of them, I did better than the prefects.
I’m full of bitterness that I didn’t look dashing in maroon every assembly.
But let’s face it, I rocked those poems I read occasionally on stage.
Made your morning, walking in on Chaka Khan singing “I’m Every Woman” to the stars.

School is positively medieval.
And all that matters in the end is that you’ve loved, and you’re loved.
And that the grade on the paper doesn’t reflect how darling you are,
But that if you did make up a rumour about a girl getting married to her boyfriend

And posted a picture on Instagram of him “proposing” to her,
To which his sister who doesn’t like his girlfriend made an emergency call to him
Saying “What the fuck have you done?”
Then you need a kick up the arse.

Lucy does reaffirm things very well.
But she’s all there.
There’s not another sister I would respect more than her anyway.
I know where I stand.

For people who don’t understand my poetry,
Put yourselves upright and make a line in the sand.

You all own smartphones and I ask, lift your eyes from the static,
Straighten your backs,
And take your bones and drive harder into the curve.
For people who don’t understand my poetry,

Or somebody else’s poetry,
Ask yourself who’s putting the black and blue bruises on your lips,
Who’s causing you to be cruel like this?
Who’s turned YOU into a BITCH?

And when you’ve figured it all out,
When you’re holding your degree in your hand
And you’re past the days of jelly shots and hold burgundy in your hand
Whilst you flip the ribeye steak,

And you tell yourself that your daughter or son will be fine
And your husband or wife will be home on time,
And you know what you want isn’t what you’re necessarily going to get,
Lift the mask off like a skirt

And wear yourself as nature intended.

For people who don’t understand my poetry,
Grow up, be happy.
Do stuff. Smile.
You don’t need to click links to know me.

As for Personal Problems,
There’s plenty more coming.
And I know you might click,
Working out if its you I’m talking about. I’m not. Am I?

Until one day, just one day, and you have to feel this truly,
And not just say it now because you think you mean it, you’ll always be curious,
You don’t give a shit what I or anyone thinks or writes of you.
Then you’re grown.

How To Find Love

(NB. Studies say that marriages are more likely to last when the couples in question are religious. My reasoning for this is when you take a power like the belief of God and bind it into the anchor of your marriage, into your lover, it is very hard to corrupt. Vows are more than simple promises. Vows come from the vessels of life itself. We don’t come from a generation where if it’s broke, you fix it. We come from a screen scrolling and swiping generation. And you ask me why divorce rates are higher these days…)

Roll me daddy,
Over the floor. Take your cigarette
And stub me.
The ashtray girlfriend.
Lick me clean.
I caught the plague in my nose
And sneezed all over my friends.
Clumsy me.
Silly me.
Stupid me.

I am not used to this.
I am learning the tools.
I want to make incisions in all of you.
All of you fools.
With money to throw at Topshop.
I cut myself with razors, razors that I named like the seven dwarfs,
There’s Angry, there’s Insecure,
There’s Bloodthirsty, there’s Stress,
There’s Suicide, there’s Sloth
And then there’s Shame.

I have made an incision down my chest.
And I am bleeding.
And I am bleeding.
I have outpoured my secrets to the mattress I lie on like a slab of meat,
And I am somebody’s treat.
I am 18 and I have the clutch of a boy I love around my neck
And he tells me I’m his favourite girl.

I’m his ashtray girl.
And we drove into the Moon. Crashed into the crater.
Those stars, white blobs on my skin
Had to change current,
And the rip tide had me spiralling back into the arms of the Sun.
And the magnitude of my heart’s explosion,
Moved me, touched me like the White Rook catches the Black King in his plough to victory.

You don’t understand it though, kids.
You don’t know love like I do.
You don’t feel it through your fingertips,
Rip a hole through your galaxy,
You don’t taste it like peaches and cream.
To you it’s an exchange over Tinder,
A bracelet from Tiffany’s, drinks at the Alchemist,
It is Cloud 23 and desserts at the Hilton,
Trips to London, snorting cocaine on the tube from Notting Hill,
Like a great monster, your Jack Wills consumes you like a big bite of KFC.

Look into the Sky,
Find God. He’ll be there, in his red and white striped clothes, his 70s hippy black Harry Potter frames,
He’ll be there.
You just have to wade through the crowd of atheists telling you it’s cool to believe in nothing,
Throw caution to the wind and drop your prayers into the sea.

You take your Snapchat,
And you laugh at things like her twerking for TV,
You remove your dress,
You slip off your belt,
And the picture is there,
True as a Claude Monet.
As glad as gold. As soft as a dollar bill.
And that is your body.
Spilled like a vat of chemical waste,

The secret skips between each of your heart beats
And you aren’t learning your lessons.
Telling me about how largely endowed your boyfriend is.
Telling me about how many women in my year are beautiful.

Nobody is pornography to lick with your horny tongue,
Wipe the snake off your chin,
You’ve a slug for a tongue,
Where’s your heart’s fingers?
Touch your girlfriend, hold her,
Crash into the Moon with her and as you spiral out into the universe,
Hold her hand,
Hold his hand,
Marry yourselves to the flesh of your homes,

For every couple that does this,
I will cut my seven razors in half like credit cards.
I will smile like an outbreak of sunlight,
I’ll glow like ten thousand sunrises,
And I’ll tell you I love you.

Roll me over Daddy.
Over the lawn. I’m not your cigarette;
I am not your ashtray to sting.
You’re not my wasp.
I caught the love bug in my chest
And burst all over my friends like I was drunk in the love that another man gave me,
I didn’t have to Tinder, I batted my eyelashes like a Siamese cat and used my voice.
And I’m alive.

Genius me.
Happy me.
Congratulations, me.

You never knew.
When Daddy closed the door on you,
And Mother couldn’t be bothered paying for your bus fare,
That you slipped into Store Street
And popped amphetamines that raged your skull.
I’ve been there.

And I’m alive.

Me and My Appletiser

I think we should take a moment to appreciate
The anger that I take, the smiles that I fake,
The people whose hands I shake
And say, “I’m pleased to be where I am today”.

That I am 50x the woman I aspired to be,
That I have more than I dreamed,
That I splash my feelings out to the bottom of the sea
And tell it, I am ready.

I am ready to face freedom of expression,
Take myself and my emotions and grow myself
From a state of malnutrition,
Me and my Appletiser, can in hand,

On the edge of the road wearing loom bands
Saying “I do not regret what I have to say”
Because I said it, and I married it with things I call
‘Disappointment’, and the fires I have lit

With a storm of words,
YES I KNOW MY WORDS HURT
I have tornados and hurricanes of kisses
To tell you that this is pure bliss and I have saturated
Your blood into my cup

And turn it into wine.
I am no prophet, no Daughter of God,
I’m no descendant of Eve or waterlogged
With religion, I respect these traditions,

Of jumping on the bandwagon
And realisin’
No. I should be completely my own.
And I married myself.

I married myself like moons on the sand dunes,
I glisten with your love,
I tug at the tide and brush my problems under it like a rug,
I have been bitter, I have swallowed insults like sea water

And I have raised the sun from its corners.
I know souls, I feel their glow.
Me and my Appletiser, can in my hand
On those red traffic lights feeling the support of the land

Grounded underneath me.
Telling me what to be.
I tell Ben ‘Haters gonna hate’
Because of what I say infuriates,

And I take the pain I feel and make others feel irate,
Fuck you for falling for it,
In that trap when the ground gives away,
I have footprints on the coast and those prints aren’t here to stay

Trust me, lovers, friends, people I have crushed with my syllables,
I write with frills and lace and I write with pace and I do it for a thrill,
I cut myself with my own honesty,
I grated my fingernails with false modesty,

I am the definition of talent, I am the Genie, and my own wishes are my commands,
I live off the fat of the land,
I taste the tears of a grown man
And I tell him, “Its not personal”, “It’s a thrill”

Take me and the sleeping pills
And hang on cliffs, dripping illness,
Scratch the paint off the windowsill,
Take a match and burn your bastard family down in it

Burn it down to hell.
Take your failures, make use of them.
Take your vulnerability and let them make you into something.
I didn’t learn all this without being bludgeoned!

Why are you so shocked all of a sudden?
I write these hasty things because I am a strong woman,
I am a little girl, I am a baby in the womb,
I am the ages of every stage and I seem to have blossomed,

And that is why when you take your fears
And pot them like plants into your heart
They are fed so much they grow out of your ears
You must wear your flaws and mistakes like art,

I mean it, be who you are,
You have to wear them on your Hollister and your Topman
You have to cross off your problems
And draw a line in the sand,

And take your can,
Say “me and my Appletiser”, or “me and my Pepsi Cola”
or “me and my Stella”,
Whatever,
And walk across the road and know

That you are grown,
And that these shoes are big but you’ll fill em’
Take your lessons and your self-confidence,
And flowers will bud from your plants.

Personal Problems: 3rd Account

(NB.  To my Mother, who held my hand when I was admitted).

Oof I’ve got a lot of these, haven’t I?
3 accounts already?! Well slap me Mama!
So I talked to all these ‘important’ people so far,
They’re all failures, really, if I could,
I would’ve given up on them the minute I first said
“Hi” to them, but back then I was just a gawky kid looking for friends.

Just like them.
Ha.
Just kidding.

But now I really couldn’t care less.
And I think I must’ve been trying to be something I’m not,
Along with my other friends… I use this term ‘friends’ loosely.
And you know who you are.
You know who you are.
You know who you are.
And then there were strangers.
You know you are, drug dealers, Putting your heads in the sand.
My claws are hot, sisters, and this might hurt just a bit.
You’ll get your letters any day now.
And the list hasn’t even ended yet.

Tonight I am sobbing on the phone to my Mother. I am making a deal with her as we speak.

Come rub your ugly faces into my business.
This is how Cinderella loses her rags and marries nobody.
This is how Dorothy finds Toto and all is restored in Kansas. Goodbye Emerald City!

Mother, tell me something so innately personal
That it pains you just as hard as when you gave birth to me.
That it crumples your body up like a washcloth,
And I shall wring you out to dry with my words. Believe me.
I have been here on this planet for much longer than 18 years.
And I want answers.
So whilst you think of your personal problem, and I want a searing hot one too,
Let me discard these shards of my glass heart for luncheon,
And any leftovers you can’t quite fit into your mouth,
Give em’ to the dog.

I was born with a left-eye ptosis
To all the Non-Medics or School Kids or Poets or Adults I have to be friends with,
That means muscle damage on my left eye.
And that was because the delivery guy was the father of my future husband,
Who will beat me to a pulp. Beat me till I’m a soggy squashed orange.
He’ll drain me and drink me at breakfast.
I can already hear my blood hissing in his gravy dinner.
I was born with a defect, and bullies yelled ‘UGH’ at it like muddy snow,
I was hammered by a Qualified Young Man,
A man I’d like to call my best friend. He ruined my face.

Forgive me Mother, I am lazy, it shows in my eye, or does it?
I did not have a lazy eye. I had an eye smaller than the other.
And it talked at photos,
It chittered and it stuck out like a big scarlet birthmark on my face,
And I held onto it for years, and my teardrops glided over the top,
Weighing it down. Closed. Like confidential medical records.
Mother I could have had it fixed much earlier.
But I needed him to tell me I was deformed and not funny, to know that this,
Yes, this,
This was my heavy disappointment.
I can taste the bones of those bad remarks
And truthfully, I spit my blood at them.
God moves in my veins and it was something Mr L,

That hurricane of a man who checked me over like a mistake a decade ago,
Had to fix. Twice over.
And when I wore an eye-guard after my operation,
People said I had pink-eye. I can’t wait to see those people perform their comical sets
On Live At The Apollo at the Hammersmith London.
They knocked me off the little wooden chair laughing, didn’t they Mother?

And because I had crocodile skin when I was little,
(really dry skin in the sun, I had to have olive oil rubbed all over me, that was all that worked)
Dry-bone, dry like sand, dry and scaly like volcanic rock,
I had tough skin, so I could take the insults and suck on them like lemon sweets.
Those children didn’t bother me, those people didn’t bother me.

I could have had my little disappointed eye, my tired weepy eye sorted out,
If only the doctor had followed the yellow brick road,
If only he hadn’t grabbed my face unexpectedly and assumed when I was shocked as he did it,
That I wouldn’t be able to stand a LA (Local anaesthetic, to you and me)
But I have that crocodile skin, remember, Mama? Tough skin.
I have the pain threshold of a lion tooth, and a shark’s fin.

So I was made to wait. “Come back when you can handle it baby!”
I could handle anything at 2, 3, 4 years old. I pulled a TV on me once as a baby.
Took Dad to save my life.
Turns out I had a general anaesthetic anyway. Could’ve had the operation when I was a toddler and saved myself the bullying,
But that’s the price you pay for being grabbed by doctors unexpectedly when you’re a baby.

I didn’t have to wait till 15 to come back and be fixed. My warranty had already passed by then.
I had been bullied. I had been hurt.
I had people, with their waxy skin and acne screaming ‘Clean Me’
With their hairy monobrows and their beady eyes and distasteful personalities tell me
That I had a lazy eye and looked ‘deformed’. Yes, ‘deformed’.
Too bad you’re good looking. I had no ammo to fight back with either.
And just because you’re Italian and I was laughing well,
I’m annoying, I know. But I’m also human.

That damage was done Mama, and I fear that the words made my eye look good, in comparison,
To my soaked salt-water pillows at night.
I was just a little girl.
I am just a little girl.

Mother, your personal problem is extremely dear to me,
I respect you because you kissed me better and you changed my water
And I looked better than a bunch of daisies, and you understood why I didn’t want my pictures taken,
To me a camera was like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Well, I knocked the house of insults down on the Wicked Witch of the East in that tornado of bullies,
And I wore my red shoes and clapped my size 8 feet together,
And got my munchkin friends to love me harder.
But you waved your wand like a Fairy Godmother and I,
Forever having a look of royalty in me, as grandmother used to say,
and even a girl at school said at one point actually,

I went to the ball.

So Mother, I’ve sobbed enough. Thank you for the gown. I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself shall I?
It’s not like I’m starving in Africa.
It is past midnight and the spell hasn’t broken yet.
I think I get to keep my cosmetic surgery for keeps, and not commit suicide because I hate myself
In the process.

I will read my old book of Fairy Tales.
But you made me a promise.
A promise so perfect, it sparkled like a gem,
And it fluttered like a butterfly on your lips.

Tell me your personal problem, Mother,
Whisper it like a jewel through the air,
Tell me what’s niggling in that brain of yours,
That it glows from your curly hair.

I have laid out my eyeballs and the surgeon’s knives,
And the forceps that damaged me to begin with,
I have washed and powdered my hands clean and dry of medics, of him, of horrible humans,
I have told you my personal problem,

Now its your turn.

Feel His Kiss

Sometimes I find tongues in trees,
and eyes in the sky,
They talk to me, like angels, and on the spoon of the moon,
I find the shape of his mouth carved into a constellation.
And a kiss the colour of blood,
I find my mind wander.
If, I were to touch his lips with mine,
Would his stubble graze me and stain me on the field,
Would it be soft and sure, hard and intense,
The taste of him sore in my teeth,
The mark of him scarring my face,
An eternal scratch to love.
And if I were to kiss him,
Would he love me more or less,
These things I hardly know,
Underneath sky
Underneath the shade of trees,
Underneath the lick of the moon,
These things niggle at the numbness of my lips,
They twitch,
To feel his kiss.

Deserted

I still write about you because I’m still affected.
I wish in many forms, eyelashes, prayers, stars, magpies.
I taste you in dreams, in streets, in packets of McDonalds fries, in angry stiletto-footsteps,
And there begins the sad-heart,
She’s padlocked to the driest of sands, under dark rain-clouds, but the rain never falls

But in deserts she sits.

I can look at you now and frown.
I can slam the door in your face like a cake.
I can send you away like Christmas carollers.
Dry-bone.
Cruel.
The Scrooge of my body, there was a time I said, “That man cannot leave me, that is my insides”.
More than just a person.

When I sit and think, and I do this all the time,
That my young happy 18 year old self feels all-too-soon frail
When crushed by the metal box of heavy thoughts that cripple my spine, and dry out my small chest.

I have become a small but deep cavity,
And I spoon feed it fertilisers and water clearer than moon light
In the hope that something might grow.
I have mere fragmented memories of the juices that used to run through these spidery veins,
Chunky straw-arteries, and electric-capillaries,
That berries of every kind exploded and that sometimes it looked like the beaches of Dunkirk at war,
That all my being swelled in scarlet,
That all of it was tugging at ropes,
Running,
That not even the air could stop me,

But dry-bone,
You sucked my hair follicles and my pores,
Slurped from my fingernails and toe nails,
And lapped from my eyeballs like some great Rottweiler.
And there begins the sad-heart,
I have no waterfalls left to give.
Alone, yes, alone, like graveyard stones and abandoned chicks,

In vast deserts she sits.