What’s your favorite kind of
disaster? What’s your favorite
color of bed sheet? What’s your
favorite way to count breaths?
I like to separate them into sighs
and desperate moans. Where’s
your favorite place on my body
to leave scratch marks? What
are your favorite words that are
spelt with the letters in the word
orgasm? Mine are ‘soar’ and
‘arms’. How many times have
you thought of me in bed when
I wasn’t there? Do you want to
use first names or just “baby”?
Do you want my mouth first
or my hands? Nails or teeth?
When you fall asleep, you breathe
like you’re gasping; like things
have never been easy for you and
your lungs are used to trying too
hard. Maybe that’s why you’re
ready to quit before you hit twenty.
It’s 2am and I’m inconsolable
because you said you want to die.
I don’t always tell you the truth
because sometimes kindness is
more important, but I’m not lying
about this: You are amazing. Your
shoulders are a world wonder and
your heart is more tender than the
hidden belly of wild animals.
Maybe that’s why you crush so
easily. I’m proud of my hand prints
on your skin in the places I’ve
helped build you up, but the truth
is you only really need me because
you wouldn’t believe you were
strong if the words didn’t come
from someone else’s mouth. I
can’t live in a world that was too
hard for you to make it in. You;
the boy who laughs at clouds.
You; the boy who taught me
freedom. When you fall deeper
asleep, you curl into my chest and
I hold the back of your head. You
haven’t made sense of not being
a child anymore. The world feels
big enough to run from, but don’t.
You are just the right size to take it
on. You are just enough you to
fill your place in the universe.
You don’t love me well and I’m
too broken to notice when you
do. You are a steel dam and
I’m an open floodgate; you
break my self-esteem and I ruin
your few good days. Here we
are, monster and monster, all
teeth and claws and blood on
the ceiling, but I still crawl to
you when it hurts. You still talk
to me last before you sleep. Not
every day is bad, but I don’t
love you any less when it is.
You never cared when you loved
me and it was between the two
of us - even with the light on,
even staring at me for so long
that I ask what you’re doing and
you smile and say “just looking
at you”. But people started to
see. Your friend teased you
once and that was it - you care
more about what people think
than what your heart wants,
because it wants me. You
laugh and say “we’re just friends.
There are as many beautiful
women in the world as there
are women. My grandma
loves bread crust, which is a
silly thing to put in a poem,
but one day someone will
cut me off because I’m not
to their taste and the next
someone will sigh relief
because I’m just what they
were looking for.
Everyone else’s life looks easier
from the valley of your own. If
you want to undress and become
someone else, that is your choice,
and I genuinely hope you’re happy.
Just know there’s no guarantee
that the new you will get along
with the same old me.
Juliet at the beginning of the
play; all hope and love and
stumbling into her fork in the
road. I always follow the pretty
boy down the path to the left,
even when the trees all hang
with pity. I’ve let love kill me
more than once and I might
do it a few more times. Dear
someone new: this time when
we come to the end of the road,
please don’t hand me the
poison. I can survive without you.
Next time I get to be the robber,
the one breaking down walls and
shoplifting hearts without paying
for them with love of my own.
Next time I get to be the one who
finishes rich in being wanted, and
not the one left poor and empty
handed and broken hearted.