I seem to like using water as a theme at the moment. This is kind of a wake-up call to myself.
I cannot be saved.
I thought my sadness was romantic.
I thought I was a princess
Locked in her tower
Hidden behind a wall
And caged in by her tears.
My eyes grew red with water
And my room began to flood.
I held the liquid in my fists
Convinced that it would be a beacon
That someone would come
That someone would see
And rescue me.
But they won’t.
They turn away in disgust
And only approach a smile.
So I pulled out the plug
And drained the tears away.
I mopped the floor before you got here.
Soaked up the mess with paper
Before you could spy a puddle.
I spread paint over the water damage
And threw out the broken things.
I saved myself – I needed to.
I did it because you shouldn’t have to.
Took a break from my essay planning to write this.
Love is not fire.
It’s liquid, it’s water, and I overflow with it.
I try to plug up this hole in my chest but it gushes out
All over my hands
All over the floor
And all over you.
You don’t see the flood.
You’re caught in a rainstorm
And the drops thunder down around you
And the wave I make is just a trickle in your eyes.
Your hair is plastered to your neck
And your clothes are soaked through
And they just get wetter
Because I can’t stop
The lid won’t go on
The cap won’t fit
And the water just keeps on coming
Until I run dry inside.
Now I’m a Sahara and all I want is to be refilled.
Please, give me water, I beg you.
You’re drenched, there are puddles at your feet
And the plug in your chest is leaking.
You give me the tiniest sip
But it just makes me thirsty.
So much thirst.
I beg you to wait
But you’re already gone.
Gone to give your water away like extra change
To people who are already rich.
I’m parched and my throat is dry
But you can’t see my cracked lips.
I wonder if you noticed.
I wonder if you would feel the inexplicable absence of me
Would you miss me?
Would you cast a thought my way?
Do you scan the faces for mine
Or do you even notice?
I want to be something you miss
But I don’t think I am.
I want you to feel that ache when I’m not there
But I don’t think you can.
I like feminism, and I like writing poetry. So this happened.
I am Juliet who drove Romeo to die
I am Delilah cutting Samson’s hair
And I am Joan of Arc burned alive.
I am broken by one man
And healed by another
But only because
I let them.
I am the wife of Abraham
And I stand tall as Britannia.
My eyes put Helen to shame
And Aphrodite covets my mouth.
I throw myself upon Dido’s pyre
As Bernadette I heal the sick
And my thunder howls with Juno’s roar
I am Mary, carrying God inside of me.
I am anything, and I am everything.
Eternal and I only last a second.
I take the Heavens apart with my fingers
And put them back together in a better way.
I want to push you off your pedestal.
I’d rip that masterpiece in half
And burn the pieces
Until I can breathe again.
My only wish is for this feeling to subside
For that tingle when I think of you to vanish
For God to take my love away
And give it to someone who wants it.
I think you know, and that’s what makes it worse.
I’m too tired to try any more, and I don’t want to lose you
But I think I will because it’s the way it’s meant to be.
I wish I could tell you everything
But it’s hard enough to say hello.
I can’t think straight around you
And what comes out is garbage.
I don’t want to be ‘that girl’
The one who you try to push away
In the nicest way
The softest way
Yet it turns out to be the cruellest way.
I think you know
But what you don’t know
Is that I love you enough
To let you go.
You are sweetly oblivious to the fact
That I am dying in the most blissful way.
Your gaze on me just sets me on fire
And I want to be covered in burns.
You might smile, I might want to cry.
Your happiness trickles into the cracks of me
And lights up whatever they touch.
You set me alight, and I’ll never burn out.
Your hand brushes mine and Vesuvius erupts inside my chest.
My heart holds the power of Yellowstone
And I’m so scared that one day I’ll blow up
And destroy our world.
Is it OK for me to block out the sun?
Is it OK for me to show you the truth?
Because I’m so scared that you might run
If I show my true feelings to you.
Finally a non-poem.
Sometimes I think about ten years from now.
Where do I live? A house, or a cramped apartment? Did I go back home and (god forbid) I’m still living with my parents? I probably have a cat. No, two cats. A black one and a chocolate brown one, and knowing me I’ve named them something silly, probably after fictional characters. That’s comforting – I know, that wherever I end up, I’m going to have cats.
Are you in my life? I can’t tell. I want to know how I feel about you in ten years – is it the same? Different? Did I get over you? Do I hear your name and cringe, wishing I could bury it along with all the feelings I ever felt for you?
Maybe I’ll be successful. Maybe not. Maybe publishers think my work is the worst trash they’ve ever come across. Maybe they think it’s a literary gold mine. Maybe one company is nice enough to print a limited run and I keep most of the books in my cramped apartment in cardboard boxes and my first dates always involve a ‘would you like a copy of my novel?’
Maybe I have someone who makes me feel special and makes me forget about the leaking ceiling and the rowdy neighbour who lives upstairs, and buys multiple copies of my book behind my back and doesn’t tell me until I find them in the closet.
Perhaps I still play Lifehouse and Taylor Swift too loudly so I can’t hear the rapping on my door when I get pizza delivered. Am I the kind of person who orders pizza? Have I got that busy a life that I have to have my food delivered to my door, or do I still strain my arm muscles with bulging carrier bags and do all the handles still cut into my skin?
What’s my job? Am I a teacher like I always thought I would be? Or did I go into publishing? What’s my career? Have I earnt enough to keep me writing full time? Does my heart sink every time I check my statement as my student loan drains away my extra funds? Do I go out and splash out on nights with friends, or do I still sit at home and watch Star Wars over and over again, and then watch it backwards just because I can?
Will I have any idea what the hell I’m doing?
Why do my poems about you
Always come out as sad
When you make me
The happiest that
I could ever be?
I’m grateful for late mornings
And days where I don’t have to do anything.
I’m thankful for the smell of grass
And the red leaves on the ground as autumn gets under way.
I’m thankful for that song that brings me to my knees
And banoffee flavoured ice cream.
I’m grateful for the books on my shelf
And marathons of TV shows.
I’m thankful for that boy who makes me smile
And the friends who are always there for me.
I’m grateful for cats
And that I can eat Nutella straight out of a jar.
I’m thankful for Star Wars (even the prequels)
And the sound of rain on my window
And the buzzing of chatter on the bus.
I’m grateful for my best friend’s laugh.
I’m thankful for the people in my life
And I’m glad that we broke up.
I’m thankful for fantasy novels
And piano ballads
And beautiful chord progressions
And macaroni cheese
And that dusty old heater
And the music on my playlist
And the hairbrush I sing into
And movies that make me cry
And that pretty little notebook I never used.
I never said it, not ever
But I’ll be thankful, forever.
Possible trigger warning for sexual assault. Something jerked my memory recently, and this is how I cope.
Are there people in the world who don’t feel what I feel
Whose hearts don’t pound in fear
When they walk past a dark-haired boy
Who looks a little like the one who wouldn’t stop?
Are there people who wouldn’t freeze
And let his hands go where they shouldn’t?
Are there people who’d just block out
The filth that came pouring from his lips?
Are there people who wouldn’t cry out
And scratch their nails across his mouth?
Are there people who wouldn’t fumble with their belts
Try and yank their jeans up but their hands shake?
Are there people out there who don’t cry
Because he got too far inside?
Are there people who wouldn’t run
And trip and fall and bleed, undone?
Are there people who wouldn’t hide
And bottle it all up inside?
Are there people who lock the memories away
And never let them out again?