The Sitting Room

Modern rustic and rainy days 

Pages fall, words fail

Spiced apples and caramel

Dreaming of a home we can’t afford

An umbrella pulls us closer, or tries

Whilst arcade games cheat and lie

Cherry lips on cherry lips

And on windy piers I forget the cold

Because we’re sitting back propped by the fire

Apple crumble after Shepherd’s pie 

Then it’s Bears Den and The Great Gatsby

A soundtrack to spontaneity

It’s selfish of me to want this

And selfless to want to share it with you

I forgive you for everything you haven’t done

And probably will never do

Are you giving it up?

Never, I will never give it up.

Terminal

I have this guilt

That’s filling my stomach

Drops with a sickly smell

Finds corners in my gut

And settles

A pool in the pit of me

I’m worried it’ll get into my lungs

And I won’t be able to breath

And then how will I tell you

When my mouth is full of this soot

That I feel overwhelmed

How will I speak

When my body is drenched

In this dead weight feeling

Throat clogged

Mouth bitter

I imagine you with a pair of scissors

Blunt and rusting

Taking my stomach and sawing at it

Making crooked edges

In my swollen organ

So the guilt can trickle out

Find some release

A break for air

To lift the weight

From my waist

And cover the floors with it

Taking cuttings

I’m born

To be born again

In another form

Half mine half his

But all mine

Am told

By

Religion?

Is that the word

For family

Friends

And strangers too

They think they know me better

Maybe do

But they must struggle

To believe

They know my mind

Inside

Like I do

I can see

The walls

And read the veins

Stretched below the surface

That spell out

So clearly

That I am not interested

In that kind of end

But

I don’t know what I think

As I don’t know what I thought

Before I was told what to think

Because I didn’t know how to know

Because my brain was still pliable

Taking on whatever shape

I was passing through

So how do I know what I think?

Maybe you’re right after all

Maybe I’ll grow into it

And it’ll grow into me

Sunkissed

The smallest cluster

Of brown black

In an uneven smudge

At the left of my knee

Down a little

This marking

Etched into my skin

Could create a cloud

Of fog across my body

And make me sick

And it makes me sick

To see you sit

In that selfish sun

To burn and blister

That perfect body

To let your flesh turn

White to pink

And then to coffee stain

Whilst I lay here

Out of sight

To protect my already

Collapsing frame

Preserve some skin left

Not yet stretched

To fill the holes

As you stretch

Your ‘perfect tan’

Across sun lounger

And in every photo

You look good

With that bronze haze

And everyone stares at you

And say ‘You’re glowing’

And I look up

To watch the backs of their heads

Guilty until proven guilty

Take my phone

Tell me I’m lying

Read my

‘Are you out tonight?’

And his

‘Yes, let’s meet up’

And then the gap between it all

When we were two normal students

Too normal

For that

And then the bit between then and now

The bit you care about

That bit

When my sunken eyes

Drunken eyes

Dried out

And my body bent

Inwards outwards

And my shoulder blade

Became the only memory

Of an almost forgotten night

And after that

He takes my phone and texts himself

Maybe to protect himself?

Show me he is not who he is

Show Vera more like

The Stump

It’s 7 am

And the shallow sun

Makes waves

between the clouds

And wakes me

I go to the place

That rests above the ripples

Below a sudden bolt

Of breeze

It breaks green

And takes a stone

To form something

That once was

And he is here too

Looking out

In his favourite place

And we watch

The kayaks together

Making shapes

In the unfamiliar silence

He holds my hand

My fingers tucked under

And his wrapped around

We have a name for this

All of this

We have a name for all of this

Out of the bloom

It’s another hot morning

Sweat sits neatly

On the inside of my wrists

Wets my cuffs

And cools me

I’ve taken some time out

You see

From that town

To this country retreat

Where my body is supposed to breathe

I think it’s working?

Because my mind is in one place

Tapping to the beat

Of breakfast jazz

And it all comes together

For one short weekend

Out of the bloom

Monday to Friday

First you find a moment

To pause for 40 minutes

Relax your body

Drop your weight a little lower

Below your waist

Your blubber resting on your hips

At ease with yourself

And as we set off

Everyone stiffens a little

To avoid touching

Or seeing

You reach up

Hand in cough

Or sneeze

Or something far worse

Until the red light

And a voice that tells you

We’re taking a break

So you bend your elbow

And wait

Until it begins again

35 minutes to go