Aries:  You were never meant to live alone like this, when their fingers still linger on your skin years after.
Stop buying the same brand of coffee because you think you can taste their kiss at the bottom of the mug.
Unclench your fist, you’re not at war.

Taurus: Blame is easy, blame hits the target every time.
Teach your tongue to be heavy like syrup and spit venom at the people who blame you for them being hollow as an abandoned building.

Gemini: Stop shoving your heart down unsuspecting people’s throats, you can’t grow love like sunflowers.
It doesn’t work like that and you can’t trust your heart to reach for sunlight.
If you just pause your frantic fingers for a minute you might find someone who sees in your empty hands everything they want.

Cancer: you still have some nights left in your life where you feel like drowning.
Someone will leave you again, by death or by slamming the door.
You could build yourself a shelter of denial and no one will judge you too harsly.
But you’ll never be safe.

Leo: You can’t fix them and if you let them go shouting after them to come find you when they’re happy, they won’t.
Loneliness lives in you with a constant ache and you’ve tried to build temples to yourself hoping someone will come.
But it’s hard to love a place of hollow worship and the stars can’t tell you what to do.

Virgo: You check the depth of the water by diving in to it, no regards of what you break in the process.
Soon enough you’ll dive too deep and find something is waiting for you, and you’re out of warning flares and luck.

Libra: Someone loves you, someone remembers your laughter and how your face felt under their wandering lips.
Someone blames you for every relationship gone wrong after you.
Someone burns a box of letters they never sent you and they can’t stop reaching for the space you used to sleep in.

Scorpio: Start dressing for battle and keep a packed bag by the door.
This house you live in is getting restless and you haven’t been sleeping well, you don’t know what it means yet, but you will.

Sagitarius: Everything is so far into the past you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Focus on building the life you always wanted and start breathing easier.
It’s ok, no one knows, no one ever knew.
No one will come for you.

Capricorn: Someone took a picture of you at a party, your arm around someone’s waist, head thrown back.
You dressed your best and you stayed until the end.
Right after the picture was taken you kissed someone for the first time.
The one you kissed and the one who took the picture can’t see the brokenness at all.

Aquarius: You can try practising speaking to an empty room, hear how your voice doesn’t shake at all after a little while.
You can mumble into someone’s shoulder while they are drunk and feel the sound vibrate over their skin.
Write, then burn it, then write again.
There are many ways of saying what you need to say.

Pisces: You are not made of clay, so easily shapeable by every set of hands that touch you.
Nor are you a celestial body out of reach.
your skin is as sturdy as its meant to be.
Some days you’ll feel bulletproof but still receptive to kisses, and you’ll be ok.

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I don’t know how to feel about my inability to write you poetry.



And every poem about you turns into a page of blacked out lines.
“But he kisses me like breathing, like coming home.” Left in the middle.
And that’s really all there is to it.
I’m scared that one day my kisses will be ghosts.
Ghosts on his skin.
Ghosts washed away down the drain.
Ghosts exorcised by another woman who’s moved in.
But he kisses me like breathing,
Like coming home.

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Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down.

She has a mouth like a stove burn,
I kiss her for the same reason people put their burnt fingers to their tongue;
without thinking to try to soothe.

Some nights I swear I hear my skin crackle under her.
I wonder absently how much fire one person can take before they start flinching at the sound of matches being lit.

She smokes camel cigarettes and lights them up with a zippo engraved with her favourite saying.
When she’s angry her sentences get punctuated with the sound of the zippo opening and closing.

-Click- you don’t get it.
 -click- I love you, but…
-click- I can’t do this anymore.
-click, click, click-

I keep thinking about that sound and her tracing the words “this too shall pass” with trembling fingertips. 

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Seeing Red

After the fairy tale ended Red grew up to find that wolves who crave to chew on the bones of little girls were never far away.
She armed herself and made herself as sharp as any knife, honing her claws and tongue alike.
Did Prince Charming walk downstairs to find Cinderella sleeping in the fireplace years after they married?
Her hands torn up and her mouth twisted around broken apologies, asking “what’s did my mother call me before I was Cinderella?” and no one could answer.
Does Aurora drink cup after cup of coffee trying not to fall asleep?
Does she wake up in a panic every morning grasping for her prince, needing to see he had not turned to bones and ashes while she slept?
What good is a kingdom, what good is a castle for Rapunzel who can’t go outside without the choking feeling of dying stuck in her throat.
Or maybe she is never seen because she sleeps on rooftops, in trees and under bridges, needing to not feel trapped.
Does her prince smile when she finally comes home, skin tanned, hands calloused and her shifty eyes already planning on leaving him once more?
Ariel can never go home again and her voice gets lost when she tries to tell her Eric that he can’t be her everything.
Slowly, like waves grinding rocks into sand, this new land and her new people grates her down to nothing but a trembling body of longing.
Red sleeps with nothing but knives and axes, waking up most nights thinking she hears paws outside her window.
And they lived happily ever after.

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I am not a giant or a hurricane or a dying star

I don’t fully understand how this small body can be mine.
It’s not bad self esteem,
but I feel bigger than I am.
My thighs wobble when I walk as if they contain the deep sea (I assure you I contain luminescent things with teeth)
My stomach is soft under my hands, it gives under fingertips because something about me needs to not be stubborn.
I have chins that tell me I am more when I laugh, it folds itself in two to remind me.
How can this small body contain such a huge urge to burn?
To think my hands can’t cover the sun when I use them to love someone,
And my mouth can’t swallow mountains.
But the words that escape me certainly proves my mouth can still make things crumble.
I don’t fully understand how this small body can be mine,
Maybe it’s time I stop feeling like a destructive force of nature.

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Mismatched towels

I pity young people who move In to their first flat which matching towels.
They’ve not gotten one or two old soft towels from every house In their family.
I will never have enough matching plates and cutlery to serve six people in a night,
And they don’t drink their coffee out of a different looking mug every morning.
They aren’t pieces thrown together from everyone around them,
Good or bad.
I wonder of they wake up to men who would grasp their waist and whisper “darling, sweetheart. I don’t care, I don’t care about it all. I love your mismatched towels and chipped smile. You’re beautiful.”
I’m all pieces, all scraps left over thrown in a box and sent off,
And he loves me, loves me so.

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I’m getting there

The day before my last session

“How do you feel about that?”
Am I supposed to have feelings about it?
Like time has passed, I guess.
Like scabs have formed over this giant wound she said it was,
the process was rinsing and letting it start to heal.
But the thing about scars is that you trace your fingers over them now and again,
the thing is you still remember how the scar came to be.
Like I have a mouth full of words I can use.
I know the words for the feeling of sinking into the bed on a Wednesday morning,
The words for don’t touch me, I’m still healing; the words for please touch me, I’m healing.
I know how to say “I recognise what was in my past that made me behave this way, the way their touch removed his, the way I weaponised myself.”
Like discovering the shades of grey between the black or white that has been my moral compass.
The way there is no right way of doing this thing and it fucking hurts,
I clutch my chest and I say things like “I don’t want to feel bad for the way I’m handling this, but everything in me is telling me it’s not the right way of doing it cause I’ve created the illusion of a blueprint to this. And it sucks.”
Like relief.
Like I’m scared.
I’m so fucking scared.
But like I’m getting there, I feel like I’m getting there.

The night after my last session

I’m drunk on champagne.
If asked what I’m celebrating I tell them it’s because it’s done.
16 weeks of forming words I never wanted in my mouth and pushing them out.
it’s not a lie.
But it feels like a raising a glass at a wake,
to the girl who never was, the girl who never grew up and to the toxic storm of a woman who is melting away. 
I drink to the people I never were and the people I won’t become.
I lean back into the grass and I drink because it feels important to celebrate the end of so many things.
Like if I don’t it won’t have mattered.
“How does it feel to say goodbye?”
“It feels…It doesn’t feel like and end. It feels like a beginning.”
I make up my mind to burn the photos I found all those weeks ago. 

Two days after my last session

I draw on myself with henna instead of digging my nails into my skin.
I brush my teeth in the morning, accepting that these are the routines that make me feel better.
Load by load I carry empty glasses and rubbish down from my room, I make my bed, I get dressed.  These are the things I need to do to live.
I breathe when memories hit me, I breathe when my face feels dirty and I breathe when I realise I feel sad for no reason, but it’s ok because it will pass and I won’t be sad for much longer.
These are the things I do, the things I will keep doing. 
“I’m proud of you!”
I’m proud of me too. 



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