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.
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.
Everything is easier in the summer and I’m getting my legs waxed while smoking my first cigarette of the day.
Three women are laughing the slow,
sunburned, dizzy laughter of June.
The cheap pink strips of sticky wax leave strips down our legs and then we’re two women
rubbing oil down ourselves in the kitchen.
I say to one of them I like her like, it reminds me of home like,
I’m trying not to be crass or rude
Just say it!
No, but I mean…
Just say it!
Like the nice side of white trash.
She laughs and I laugh and I tell her of bathing toddlers in cut up oil cans and my aunts perming their hair on the step.
She tells me of building the emerald city in the living room out of green bottles.
Easy like my strawberries are finally growing and everything we need is 99p at the corner shop,
except for the giant bottles of ice tea that are 1.39,
but worth every cold, sugary, sticky drop.
We smell like grass, olive oil and sun cream and it’s easy like this.
I love you like my neighbour loves to mow the lawn;
Mindlessly without awareness of drought.
Almost March Love:
You shine to me like the promise of spring break in a foreign country;
free of boarders and the illusion of safety.
I’m almost 18 Love:
You to me are freedom of tequila shots and three girlfriends holding my hair,
our kisses are the battlefront of a war we know nothing about.
I’ve Been Reading A Lot Lately Love:
I want our love to be as classless and messy as a marxist utopia I only know very little about,
I’m Finding Myself Love:
I love you like the new white canvases on the wall of my new room;
I want to fill you, I want to fill you.
University Drop Out Love:
I doubt everything except how your hands,
roam my body,
like the textbooks
I want to throw you against a wall,
and set you on fire.”
It’s been daytime for a month now and the curtains aren’t working,
it’s been too bright, too warm,
where do we live again – conversation
every single morning for two weeks.
I shiver in the shadow and wish for snow, heavy snow,
featherlight on my face,
I could bury myself under it and
never come up.
Someone tells me they like it up here, so good to get away from the city, they say,
I respond with squinting and
because I can barely hear them over the cacophony of seagulls eating their daily offering from the village fishermen.
And my curtains are made out of heavy velvet
I think I can easily imagine how it would feel to strangle someone.
Sweet smile and sweeter caffeine like a sledgehammer to my system and thank god.
I still feel something even if it is this vibrating thing under my skin because
I am one with the grass, and sweat and shivering in the shadow.
A neighbour knocks on the gate and yells
Oh my god it’s so warm,
where do we live again!
I close my eyes and drink my coffee.
you ask a poet what to do when you heart is breaking
and get upset when she comes carrying jars.
You ask her how to tell if something is worth it
and she gets quiet and hands you a jar
says fill it.
I don’t know with what, just do it.
You and her and jars of honey, jam, chilies and olive oil, pickled peppers and you ask
Why can’t you answer me straight?
Do you never write anything real?
Your words tell me you climb mountains to be ok, I need to know where my mountain is and she says
eat this jar.
Don’t you get it
I don’t know.
I only know that there will always be things to
sometimes it’s your heart,
sometimes it’s how much value you pour into the word
It tastes like honey and it lasts for centuries,
it tastes like chilies and it hurts.
You ask a poet,
like she’s made of maps,
What do I do with my heart now?
And she hands you a jar,
says add thyme.
It’ll be ok.