Breathing again

It’s a word

That knocks the breath out of me

My stomach twitches

Pulls in and wallows

At the thought of it

I feel my bones tense

They’re less bold now


And hearing again

Of another, taken

If it’s cold

I see the air droplets

Simmering in the rays

Of an ignorant sun

Lifting the haze

Around my mouth

And creating a dragon’s breath

It looks more fierce than I feel

But I guess thats just it

Isn’t it?

If it’s hot

It hurts more to hear

I need that breath more

So am emptied

And exhausted

Each time my lungs clutch

And cling hard

At the very thought

Take their time to empty

And longer to refill

And it’s a petty plea, I know

Quite desperate really

To feel a little less

Like that same body

But when you say that word

And I am made to hear

That rounding rrr

Forced in my ear

I breathe deeper

To empty myself of it

Imagine that

I lied to you, yes

But by that point I was already dead

Scolding hot drenched syrup


Top to toe

Chewy edges

Find my edges

Stick to hairs

And pull

Make me marble

By that point

I was already dead

Didn’t need to lie

To make my heart less humble

When it didn’t even beat

How do I make myself love

Something already dead

Withered and frayed

Taking too long to write

And too slow to come to terms

With its own insignificance

You’d think

Being dead

I’d know my worth by now

But still I wait for the day

My brain catches up

With my bold and arrogant



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

In another lie

It was hard to hear myself

Promise in some way

To do something I didn’t do

Say what I didn’t say

Because of course I want to tell you

want to scream with you

be seen like you

tear that memory apart

make lines across our pages

across our heavy sodden hearts

meet in some grim centre

and form a dark black blot

and use our hands to force it

to come together and burn

to make them feel that sting

that we both have to feel

But how can I tell you

Something I can’t tell myself

Haven’t learnt the language yet

That you can speak so well

Taking cuttings

I’m born

To be born again

In another form

Half mine half his

But all mine

Am told



Is that the word

For family


And strangers too

They think they know me better

Maybe do

But they must struggle

To believe

They know my mind


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


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


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

A girl looking at a boy looking at a girl

I spent an hour awake

tired out of my own sick mind

trying to find a moment

when this body

this infection

living on my bitter brain

(the same as his

might I say)

when this

‘tired of your eyes’

skin tight frame

wasn’t treated like meat

offal and blood beat

a pulp

spat and secreted

I try and imagine a moment

when there won’t be someone

who would find me appetising

want to bite or tear

and consume me

from child to mother to old age

in and between

every centimetre of life

and it’s sort of funny


body rid of air

or worse


when you realise

you’ll never not see that glare

side eyed stare

at my skin

my pink speckled flesh

gross and unloved

but still makes him salivate

pleading for more

there isn’t a time

I’m afraid

when I am not there to ingest

And it all comes back to him

looking at me

a girl looking at a boy looking at a girl

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