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

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

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

suffocating

body rid of air

or worse

purpose

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

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

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

New Porn

Ice cream girls

On scrollers

Sliding down the screen

In little to nothing

This is the new porn

They warned us about

After paper things

Paper bodies

Glossy pages

And retro settings

Petrol stained girls against bikes

And bunnies

For some reason

Are made sexy?

And it’s all there

On your screen

No sneaking around

Or deleted history

This is yours now

This new porn