when we were young he used to
wrap his hands around my waist
and drag me along to the middle
of the room.
he'd put some ancient record on
probably some Elvis song or well
whatever he thought I'd like
we'd shuffle along the wooden floor
awkwardly cos neither of us really
bothered to learn how to dance
but it was very us.
I'd press my nose to his temple
and together we would sway
and even after the record ended
we would still remain.


discard me to make me feel something.
Lull me into compliance by calling me
your little love
and then punch me in the tits.


tell me a story of
your fight with your best friend
him, small and angry
cradled in your lap

of garden picnics
your stained Sunday best
boys, play-fighting
your hair and your smile

of cold autumn rain
him in his raincoat
you with your glasses
his mocking questions


that he swore
you wouldn’t understand
‘til you were older

of you accepting your role
of the immature one
and subsequently whispering
‘then have me’ to the brush
and your delight when he took
and took
and took.


you will never be anything but this
bleeding and retching and
shedding skin and shrieking

your body is a prison
and all you do is caress it softly
as if that will break its walls

your boyfriend doesn’t hit you
but sometimes you wish he did
because that would mean
you would be able to escape


I’ve decided
I don’t want to be this anymore.
dull-ended and unbidden
Pale, hazel-eyed and tiny
On another stranger’s doorstep.

Another night spent
Using someone else’s shampoo
Or lying on a ping pong table
Or passed out near the highway
Will surely be my undoing.

I wish I was more like you.
Freckled, sweet, above me
Caring, like a mother would
Yet simultaneously unyielding.
Solid, I suppose.

I wish I was solid like you.
Because sometimes I feel myself slipping
into the same stream that took my father,
took my first love
will eventually take you.


I don’t think I can learn to be loved
I think I have grown heavy in my sleep
and nobody can carry me
and I cannot make them want to.
I need to crawl
but I do not remember how to.
It reminds me of a crow
taken out by a shotgun
her beautiful bird-bones fuzzy the way
the world looks without my glasses on
I envy her so much it makes me sick.
I cannot make you love me
if I cannot love myself.
but how do you love something
bird-ribcage clutching worthlessly
at a heart no longer beating?
I cannot love myself.
I don’t know if I want to.
I think that if it comes from someone else
it will feel somehow different.
Maybe I’ve convinced myself
that the loneliness will pass.
Though I know it will not-
It will only fly lower,
and that is where the shotguns are.
I have grown ugly in my sleep
and no-one will look at me.
Although they might take pictures.
I will take solace in the fact that I amuse.
I need to crawl
and the need specifies
dictates; I must do it in a way most-visible.
how else will I ever be loved,
it asks.
I do not know the answer.


I'm sorry for saying this.
I'm really sorry for saying this.
you can't love me.
you aren't capable of it.
and I know this because I've watched you try.
these past years you've tried
and tried
to make the best out of me.
out of a bad situation.
out of a rotten girl.

you can't create something from nothing.
and I'm so sorry
because I know you're tired.
and I don't know how to tell you
'it's okay now
I understand
you can let go
I wouldn't be able to do it, either'

I'm sorry for not letting you go.
for not allowing you to go.
I'm sorry you're not leaving.

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