This is not a love poem.
This is a poem about the ugliness of tears.
This is a poem about the smallest of things,
the ones that shouldn’t matter, but do,
the ones that don’t matter, but should.
This is a poem about empty milk cartons in the fridge,
and about not buying toothpaste,
and about jagged words in dull nights,
like broken glass buried in sand.
This is a poem about apologies.
This is a poem about morning breath,
and drinking the last of the wine,
and arguments with the mother-in-law.
This is a poem about tangled limbs,
and dancing in the rain,
and the soft skin at the nape of her neck,
sleep-warm and pale.
This is not a love poem.
This is a poem about love.
If you were weather,
she said to me one day,
You’d be rain, a
I thought at first
she meant that I was
and destructive, but
then she said
No, no, you’re like
a storm in the middle
of summer, refreshing
and new, like
taking that first, ice cold breath
on the first day of winter.
The first thing you noticed about her
is the way she tucks her hair
behind the shell of her ear,
like she’ll hear better by
drawing the curtain of
hair out of the way.
The second thing is the
way she chews her pen,
like it holds the secrets
to the universe.
The third thing is the
birthmark on the small
of her back, and the way
she shivers when you
brush your fingertips over it.
The fourth thing is the way
she smells when she’s just come in
from the rain,
like spring and cut grass and,
The fifth thing is the
way she can only whisper
that she loves you
in a darkened room, like it’s
only meant for your ears.
poetry is like dreams
the really important ones
only matter to the one
He finds her on the floor
of their bus, barely warm,
tell tale tourniquet wrapped
around her arm like an
embrace. She is pale,
clammy, and so
still she might as well be
a pillar of salt, and for
a second he knows
she’s gone. She’s in
some far off country
of her own choosing.
For the first time since
picking up a needle,
Sometimes, when there’s no one else around,
I sit in your chair, drink from your mug,
wear your shirts. I pretend you’re still here,
I pretend you came back.
I read your favourite poem, I remember
just one line.
(Sometimes I think I made it up inside my head.)
It rattles around in my head, and
I pretend it has meaning, pretend it’s not
just the words of some poor mad girl.
I do a lot of pretending
these days, it seems, and
though I can’t pretend that you never left,
I can’t help but feel that I too
should have loved a thunderbird instead
oh my god julia WHY WOULD YOU EVEN
you are six and you look
at the crown on your father’s head.
you don’t understand.
you ask if maybe one day you’ll wear
your father laughs and something
in your chest laughs with him
you are sixteen and you look
at the crown that your father no longer wears
keeps locked up behind glass.
you wonder to yourself if only a trophy king
has a trophy crown, but now you’re more interested
in the chapped lips of one of the serving boys
at the party (maybe you’re a cliché, but like father
like son, you think)
you are twenty six and the dark laughter
in your chest is all you can hear sometimes.
you still kiss boys, but you no longer
want to be king
the day you realise you’re living for enjolras
is the day you die with him.
it’s ironic, you think. in a way,
at least. turns out no one cares
about your lonely soul either, R.
i fucking knew someone would give me remus. i fucking knew it.
It takes you three weeks to stop
tensing your muscles every time a car
drives past. It takes you three months
to stop making enough tea for two.
It takes you three years to
forget what he smelt like in the morning
(like parchment and cinnamon and sex)
You could live without him for
thirty milleniums and you’ll always
remember the look on his face when
you told him you loved him.
You turn seventeen at home
spend the day with your best friend
and everything in the world
feels like it’s balanced.
You turn eighteen on a battlefield
spend the day with strangers and corpses
and you can’t help but feel
that the world is off kilter.
You don’t know if you’ll turn nineteen.
You don’t know if you’ll want to.