“what did you feel like when it happened to you?”

N.B. for my friend, who is always loved.

it is a blur because
all i really remember are a collection of small but very real things.

just feeling like i was a baby being sucker punched
repeatedly until my bones were baby food.

and i listened to ultraviolence and sad girl
and lay in my bed for a couple weeks with the plates piling up on my desk.

my face seemed physically broken
and my mother said i’d lost weight when she skyped me.

i kept looking at his t-shirt hoping his warm body would appear inside it
i wanted to blink and he’d be right there smiling with a scotch egg in his hand.

sometimes i went clubbing and there’d be a tall redhead
and my knees would buckle and i thought emily would have to carry me out.

there weren’t enough cocktail pitchers in the world
to soak up all the breaking of me

and it took every vessel and every sinew and every bleed
of me to not pick up the phone and kill him.

i don’t expect him to understand because he’s never been here before.
but i’m a proud girl, i’ve got the weight of the oceans in my hands.

fine is a hard emotion to come by,
but then one day when a friend walks by to ask you

“how are you doing?”
you will not sweat under the word. fine is your friend. you will mean it.

the world will turn in again and like me
you’ll be a proud girl with the weight of the oceans in your hands.

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i’m prepped to kill you

i wanted to be the little girl
who could beat her father up
and suck off his bruises
with one giggle

but i’m not strong like that
and you boys,
you young things
can strip me away to dusk and to nothing

i’m prepped to kill you
to put your body into my kiss
but i won’t suck off your bruises
and i won’t bite your gullet just to

save you from talking.
i want you to scream
to hush your heart into myself
i’m prepped to kill you always

your murder will be my resurrection.

i’m in your studio and you’re taking my clothes off

it’s you, the world in our palms surrounded by various pieces
of all the times you’ve sobbed over your exes and translated
the teardrops into paintings.

in your attic this is where i sit best, in the lakes of your kiss.
i’m in your studio and you’re taking my clothes off
and i’m done with caring about the necessary love that gives me wings.

maybe we can paint together after this
or just lick the moon dry, some metaphor between our lips could come to life
we are redecorating our wounds as we fuck

and the planks under us are trembling confused
because neither you nor i could’ve anticipated this sunday lunchtime
i’d be laid waste to your wanting of me

so instead of bonding i just pull on my clothes and say “this was fun”
and leave you and your canvases empty.
it was fun. but i’m going home now.

what is it he’s got that you don’t have?

is it the tide? because listen lymh,
the moon isn’t your breakfast
only the sun can call you by your name.
the ocean is only half the thing that makes up your blood
so don’t rely on waves to make you happy,
don’t step on your planet’s veins.
what is it he’s got that you don’t have lymh?
is it freedom or validation? because, only you know
how to refuse kissing the shores of him and only you know
how to forget the ring of every syllable of his name.
what is it he’s got that you don’t have?
is it the way he talks to you as though he were the wind
passing right through the holes in your heart?
can you not sift out the sand he’s kicked into your eyes?

lymh, look at me. look at me right now.
you’ve got everything and more.
don’t tattoo his walk on your arms because you said yourself,
you’re not going to be his flesh anymore.
and when he’s all grown up and still misunderstood
you’ll get to reminisce on your better childhood
where you feasted on catching ladybirds and whistles and skipping rope.
there’s nothing he’s got that you don’t have, lymh.
the whole ocean is a lemon for you to squeeze
and you must drink every last drop,
until your body is a small seashell
which some other world can love and protect.
never give up on the things you already have lymh.
i’d break the universe in half to be with you.

deep love

N.B. for people who know how to love deeply

deep love is like being sat at the bottom of a swimming pool
with your goggles on and feeling like you’re a different species.

it’s alien in all the ways you’ve ever dreamed of them being
and you just have to be in a car one night for it to slam you.

you’re the reason you crash and you’re the reason your heart’s skipping
double-dutch and it’s beating harder than the bass in your eyes.

deep love is a whole new game
and you never find it.

it finds you.

bring me love

you’ve got to bring me love
stuff it into your saddlebacks and ride on
because nothing amuses more than princes
on noble steeds
and for every man i’ve ever loved
i’ve been their hero, their knight in shining armour.

saving them from their towers
they’re wearing the dress, fucking damsels in distress
needing girlfriends to save them from being depressed
my love gives way to your gravity
so start being a force of nature, not a screaming baby boy.

i’d rather have somebody rescue me now.
or better can we just be free
and stumble across one another
like seashells shining in the ground?
you’ve got to bring me love.

i’m stepping up, because i know what i really deserve
there’s no more of me lying on the bathroom floor
no more heart standing still
we’re stray dogs
and we’re bringing each other love.

boy meets girl, algiers, 1956

a french soldier came along someday
and “fucked” this woman in one of the streets
but woman knows that she’ll get pregnant
and thus here we all are
berbers ignored as the underwood is
where we get fucked by little pieces of western eyes
and wear the evidence under our shirts
all the way home, yeah,
all the way home.

then baby gets born and our sons never come home
because their hearts get mangled in the wire fighting him who’s fucked me
and i hold on tight to my face because it’s the last piece of me i have
so hold on tight, little identity picture, hold on
and we don’t get a say in how the world defines us
because someday your people will tell you we’re your terrorists
and we’ll be the people that want to cut your babies
and play football with their heads

not that none of you ever did that
not that that french soldier ever did that
when he glided his paper skin against me
and after every spill i look at myself in the mirror
i see him baring his teeth in my stomach
and i want to cut it all out of me,
yeah, i want to cut it out of me,
but instead he does it for me.

I Can Fit Two Years Into An Old Boux Avenue Bag

this is your destination now
there are some gifts you gave me i won’t wear
necklaces from the amazon
a painting of a toucan
a locket keyring with our faces smiling inside
love letters
a USB of photos i didn’t have the heart to delete
plus a bunch of other things that shouldn’t matter
but hell they did and still do
when i’m 40 i’ll dig em’ up
and rake my insides with our youth
it’s good to give your heart a quick shake
now and then
our universe is packed into this little lingerie bag
and i think that’s kinda magical, don’t you?

she wants to snog the moon

N.B. for any woman who’s ever been young and heartbroken

it is free falling into a sea that never actually hits you
until the love of your life walks out
and dissolves into the ocean right before your eyes
i have a beautiful relationship with the atlantic
and i long for it to drown me
after late night jazz and carrot cake
and cider on the settee
where in some other universe i have pretended i am not alone
but i am in the arms of daddy and his money
he kisses me with cartier and fur coats
and i’m never alone with dry martinis
he’ll say “baby i’m not like other guys”
and our entire lives are a 20s new york cliché
here i am trying to get into bed with the moon
he is pulling off my underwear
but hasn’t deleted the reams of porn lining his history
here i am wishing the sun was a more faithful friend
but it just so happens that these two orbs
disappear in the end forever
it is like this with every relationship
we date these inconstant hearts and rope them around our necks
hoping to kill ourselves for just one taste of true love
by thinking we’d actually die for these people
but the only constant is the world
the gravity of my mother
the tide’s pull of my father
both submerge me
so i say to any girl heartbroken with late night jazz on spotify
cutting into a slice of carrot cake
pretending to be in some other glamorous era
with a sugar daddy who treats you right
that in reality you desperately want to snog the moon
but you’re out of reach
and anyway it’s not there tonight
and someday it won’t be there at all.

feel for ya

N.B. this was written 26/03/16 but sometimes stuff warrants an audience
it doesn’t hurt you
to see me steaming you off my walls
i’d better redecorate myself
i regret you, bad colour
i go out with 2 or 3 friends
happily taken, i am their final single friend
another year 13 student rats me out
to the teachers at school
for writing statuses about elitism
and i laugh because bitches never change
i read poetry books bite my lip at the gym
run and hike and pretend i never fell for anyone
the regular on a wednesday pumps iron
he approaches me and asks
i don’t go out on a date with him
because i have organ failure
i took my heart and smashed it against your mother’s forehead
and told her to cook it for your dinner
because i won’t be needing it anymore
sometimes i could pin you down
like a voodoo doll
and teach you curses to make your daddy squeal
but you’re already dead to me
i feel for ya
when you say you’re scared to fall in love with me again
but we’re enough subdued to never kiss again
you’re a cloud spoiling my blue sky
nevertheless i cry on the beach
you drink
you lie to yourself
do the things i used to think were cool
it must hurt you hard to watch me gnaw my fingernails down
each of them a door disappearing
to somewhere new with you
but who are we to love each other
mutual sluts with lies swung around our necks
i treat you bad in the beginning
you treat me bad in the end
i feel for ya
if this is all you could come up with for unconscious revenge.