Mutual destruction

I want you like a gun wants to be cocked and fired,
all high strung, tense, capable of horrible things in the wrong hands.
I want you like the water wants to lick the bricks of the city,
waves after waves of endless destruction no one expects you to endure.
But I can be soft, I can be lapping waves over legs and backs, I can be gentle rain.
Just not for you.
We weren’t made for tuesday afternoons and hands twined together in a way that doesn’t hurt,
arms pinned down, bruises in the shapes of fingers and my voice roaring.
And I want you like fire wants wood,
I’ll run through the underbrush of you and run everything alive out of you.
I’ll ruin everything, and you’ll start it all and laugh as I devour us both.


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This is how you become broken

This is how you become broken,
by hardening your skin so much they can’t tell you apart from your grandmothers ornate plate that you keep in the bookshelf.
Then say nothing, only soft things have mouths and words and reasons, you are unyielding and made of ceramic, glass or thin brittle stone.
Paint on your skin in colours seemingly random but to you signify the path so far.
(I’ve chosen peacock colours and my face is all gold.)
This is how you become broken,
once you have made yourself into a mantlepiece decoration, leave yourself in someones hands and watch as you slip through their fingers and onto the floor.
See their mouths form a surprised “O” because they thought you were flesh but you know better and now they do too.
Spend days, months, years trying to find glue strong enough to hold your pieces together, but realise that you’re probably never going to be whole again.
Mourn the pieces that escaped you as you landed on that floor.
Trust no one with fingers to ever touch you again, or rub your jagged edges against them to see if they flinch.
Loving you is now a test and they will always fail.
This is how you become broken, by pretending you’re once hard then shattered.
By pretending you are made of something that can come undone, into pieces.
But we are not glass, or ceramic, or thin brittle stone.
My thighs yield under touch and my arms are strong enough to carry myself.
And I know your soft cheeks and your eyes and your smile on soft rose petal lips.
And darling, you can’t break.


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Sickly sweet

I’d give you my heart if I didn’t think you would devour it whole and ask for seconds.
But wrap your venus flytrap legs around me,
and I’m yours.

I’m yours. 

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Peppermint girl

This is what they want:
Words of your soft skin, me assigning meaning to each body part, comparing it to something unattainable.
It’s like they will never tire of love poems,
girls who are stars and boys who are wolves.
Fast love that burned us both up before it could even properly start, slow love that lingered in corners and grew steady as we did.
I’ll tell them how I kissed you like it meant something, even if some of the kisses only tasted like my own hunger.
But they don’t want truth, they want what I feel when I am so far in denial I can’t do anything but hold on to someone.
Fingers in hips, mouth on collarbones.
They want me to talk about the collarbones and your breath on my cheek, not the things I feel after I’ve left; like sharp teeth of a trap that gleams in the alleys, like I’m a bad decision and you need to feel bad so you picked me.
So let’s tell them about the peppermint girl of my youth, the smeared lipstick and senseless promises of two sixteen year old girls clutching hands in a church.
Let’s tell them how the dirtiest words I’ve ever heard spoken was from the obscene mouth of the girl I fell in love with when I was fifteen and how her lips twisted around the word “suck.”
This is what they want:
The slow grind of hips clad in too expensive jeans, the lingering stickiness of lip gloss on earlobes, her laugh against my skin, her mouth against my skin, her skin against my skin.
Let’s leave out the rest, it’s not important, they just want our skin.

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I’m addicted to metaphors and I’ve started growing things

I bought an aloe vera plant cause I felt like I needed something in my life that grew bigger the more I gave and when broken could be used to soothe burns.
It’s stupid and not at all poetic,
how I liken myself to house plants,
to my mother’s frantic tidying around me while I sat passive in a chair not understanding her need for everything to look together.
It wasn’t like anything in our house was all together anyway.
It’s not poetic how I keep buying mugs cause I need something in my life to fill and drain as I see fit.
I’m addicted to metaphors and I’ve taken to planting things, diving my fingers into the soil and feeling it crumble.
I don’t know if any of these things will grow, I don’t know if I water them too much or too little, give them enough space or smother them.
There are seeds and prickly plants stuck into every corner of my life and it’s not poetic how I keep hoping they will make it through my care.  

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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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