Man, you know I saw you straight away.
You carry yourself like a circus performer demanding absolute silence,
you juggle honed sharp stories with a wobbly precision and
I find myself being turned into a bobble head.
Nod, nod, nod along.
I search the arena for the emergency exits but there are just,
Spilled drinks and popcorn;
and the sad but inevitable feelings that the elephant in the room has been mistreated for way too long.
Suddenly I’m being pulled in to the ring and
Juggling batons back and forth from our mouths, our poses.
So what do you do, you throw and I immediately remember how this dance go.
I’m a writer.
Oh, what do you write about?
I see familiar faces in the audience they have seen this performance before.
This circus has been on tour for generations.
I do a little shuffle with my feet;
hold my breath for just too long.
I say, I don’t know, life, love… What a question.
The words have too little weight behind them, I know as I throw a smile for good measure.
You pick them from the air, gathers them up, smile a cocky smile and takes a verbal bow:
Are you gonna write about me?
At some point in your life you’ll reach the halfway point and you wont even know it.
We say it’s like someone walked over your grave and I wonder if I’ve ever walked over mine.
What steps do I take to feel alive when I know days are ticking like a clock,
like a bomb?
We call it salvation sometimes, letting go,
I used to call it cowardice, shame,
I called it many things and then I knew someone who lost someone and
I called it what it was.
The end by any means necessary.
For the record I don’t want to die, I want to know I have many steps left to my halfway point.
I want to know I’ll still greet every morning with a groan and a fuck you, and a where’s my coffee, do I need a bra for this – for a good few 29853 mornings still.
Maybe it’s too many to ask for, but I’ve finally learnt that you need to ask,
I don’t believe in forever, if given the choice I wouldn’t ask for forever,
but I would fill my hands with sand and throw them into the universe and ask for as many moments as there are grains.
I want to live, I want to live!
This wretched life where I grew up with warm kitchens, with hands around mine,
and monsters in every crack in the walls.
And God fucking damn it I didn’t make it this far to give up.
Some days I feel I could sleep forever and wake up when my heart wasn’t so heavy,
when I don’t have anchors tied to my tongue,
but I remind myself I came from weathered hands.
I know its in my blood.
its in my blood like a sickness.
And I want to live, but not by the sea, I can feel in it me anyway.
Between rib number 5 and 6 lies a cavern and if you get to kiss me you can almost taste it.
The brine of me, the sea weed in me.
My wrung out heart beats like a piece of driftwood against the shore.
Lie on me, ear to bone.
And maybe, if we’re both lucky, I’ll kiss you once for every wave I’ve ever seen and hope that’s enough.
That’s enough years.
Some day we’ll have reached our halfway point and not even know it, I’ll have eaten my last strawberry and not even know it.
And if I’ve walked upon my grave before, I’ll call it coming home.
Home is a piece of driftwood crashing against the rocky shoreline of a place I have kept sailing away from.
If this life gave me anchors I only know progress will be slow,
but it wont stop me.
If life gave me salt water I know storms will come, and come,
The punchline is I was born by the ocean,
I know how to wait until the inevitable calm settles again.
I call this a mythology,
because it feels safer to name beasts
than to tattoo medicine labels onto myself
I call myself priestess, goddess, lynx;
Holy trinity of “Holy hell” and questionable decisions.
I swear I have claws instead of nails and there is
of all my bad habits
I’m all heavy handed symbolism
and suppressed flinches.
I keep a tally between the weather and me,
who breaks first,
and how often.
I think I’m winning but it’s been raining a lot lately,
like the weather wants to remind me where I am,
that I’m still mostly water.
If my garden has taught me anything,
it’s that I will swallow anything I cultivate myself.
Even badly thought out creation myths.
I say magic is the way of perceiving
what consequences and chance have in common,
the outcome of what we put out,
and a willing mind
what comes back.
You remind me of the failed love potions I made when I was 13,
the smell of rotting rose petals everywhere.
So when I say
kiss me like you mean it,
when I say
I am magic;
I hope you can taste my whole mythology.
This isn’t a love poem, just so you know.
If my heart hasn’t learned by now not to beat
when you’re close by.
I’m not sure It’ll ever learn.
to be perfectly
I’m about as subtle as a train wreck,
I expect strangers to stop
in their tracks and say wow,
wow look at her.
This isn’t a love poem, not even remotely.
like vaguely remembering running out
into a storm
into your teeth.
Over and over again.
to be ruined,
to be torn.
So open you can see
my stupid bloody heart,
I can’t help it, I can’t help it.
I said I’m sorry you couldn’t have my best years.
When you could see my ribs and my thighs didn’t have stretch marks.
I’m sorry this is all yours now.
My mother told my sister I’d gained weight,
my sister told me I looked happy.
It took me this long to walk from one place in my head to another.
I’m not sorry you get the soft spoken me, the brave me, the trying me,
Jesus Christ I’m trying so hard and you’re cheering me on like you would want nothing more
than to fetch me coffee the rest of my life and say:
Babe, you’re doing great.
I’m not sorry,
I’m doing great.
When I grow old I want my kitchen to be a heart.
I don’t want rooms like open wounds, I don’t want blood on the walls but I want the steady,
noise of being alive.
The racing of too much coffee, the warmth of two big hands around two smaller hands rolling bread dough.
When I grow old, when I grow tired I want my kitchen table to be a harbour.
Where all the ships make it home and all the prayers sent out to sea will come down on us,
like sugar being poured in a tea cup,
making everything so sweet.
I want this kitchen to be so sweet it sticks to you when you leave.
The sound of laughter and colliding of cups and saucers whilst a small girl falls asleep,
curled up on the sheepskin on the floor,
taking this moment with her into the future.
So when she grows up, she’ll know the heart of the house is the room where we come together to make and break bread.