Let me gather my bones from the bonfire
Let me bury them among the cabbage patches
That grew from firtile soil
Enriched with ashes.
We clicked like a lighter
A roaring little house on fire
A couldran of smoke
That would choke us with love
Ripping our hearts out
And toasting them for each other
A sacrifice we made
Knowing we could never live again
Or love another
We loved each other enough to ignite the globe
We burned so bright
That when the fire died out
There was nothing left of us
Look what I have done for you
My body is bare before you
My leaves fly into the air
My arms are knackered branches
Stranding exposed before you.
These are my leaves collecting around our feet;
I have unravelled in front of you,
Like you asked me to.
Can you see these tiny solar cells cascading,
Swirling before our eyes
Can you see them?
I have unpicked every one of them
And you can see them
You can read them and feel them in your palms
Those stories that have kept me sheltered,
They held the parts of me I wanted to keep for myself
Who am I
now that you have seen every part of me?
Who can I be
Now that there is nothing left of me
That you have not touched?
You asked me to tell you who I am.
And now that I’ve told you the answer,
I cannot exist anymore.
There is a surrealism to balance.
What is it like to breathe
And not gasp?
And not sprint?
Aliens are in emotion.
How does one cry without crumbling?
Or stand their ground with defiance
Without bubbling over with a poison rage
Like acid from a cauldron?
A burning, corrosive witches brew.
To see someone cheerful,
Instead of ecstatic is confusing.
I can tell you I have seen UFOs.
In the people I love,
In bus drivers and friends,
They are alien to me,
Because they are so human
Without complete excess.
I wish I could have just loved you
Instead of being alive
only because of you.
Aliens, teach me your ways.
Breakdown the surrealism.
Let me be a human.
When someone tells you they love you
It appears quite unremarkable
But imagine the impossible
When the ‘someone’ is one of your own
The I love you
Becomes a UFO or a dragon
In a world of man and wife
Or Mr and Mrs.
Suddenly the phrase that is thrown around
by boys over text
Like tatty footballs
Is the northern lights or a shooting star
because it comes from a girl
in a world where we are taught it is impossible
and a world where it sometimes is.
but I heard it
‘I love you’
we had a mutual loneliness and called it love
a magic kind of desire spun from the cobwebs on our lips
as long as we have each other we are not alone.
we clung to each others corpses like driftwood in the middle of the ocean
a shipwreck and its sailors, if you like.
is it love if its built from broken hearts?
is it safety if it’s built on top of quicksand?
I loved you like the last girl alive
but I hated myself more
and so, how can I be loved if I don’t let you soothe any part of me?
what were we if we pretend we were not a dying wish
holding each other so tightly in our arms
to keep ourselves together
to stop the shaking.
what can I say about our loneliness
sharp enough to make us weep
and tough enough to tie us up in knots?
it was something we called love
and it kept us alive.
what a gift it is to find that person,
someone who has read every page of you like a book
has not just leafed-through but construed and memorised
and chosen to love every word inside
what a gift to crumble in love,
to fall apart in the arms of another
to dismantle and disfigure in front of her eyes
show her what dust love made me into
a love that takes your lungs away is a blessed curse,
it drips like poison into the mouth and takes away your tongue
I was loved so much that I became less than nothing
a favourite blanket keeping warm empty space
to know that she will always be the one
to both light me up with her laugh
and extinguish me with her breath
and that no one else will ever make me burn again
what a gift it is to crumble with love,
to fall in love was to fall into no reality.
to wake up a stranger at the bottom of the sky
and unable to live without that gift any longer.
I don’t know how to write a poem about love anymore
how do you spill your heart out
when there’s no glow left to hold there
I don’t know what it feels like to be held
and not wish for someone else
or not wish for more
what happened to the love that I once was surrounded by
all I feel of it now is a longing
like an empty space on a bookshelf otherwise full
or an empty hand
the right carrying my jacket
the left closed but somehow reaching out for one of its own that belongs to someone else
I read romance in novels and I see it in those that I care so deeply for
(the glisten in their eyes and
the smile that sometimes escapes them when they think no one’s looking)
but to see is not the same as feeling it
and to feel it is not the same as giving it
how do you write a poem about love when you lost yours long ago?
There are slopes along my waist where hands used to hold me
to feel safe in someone’s arms in a world like this is an eclipse
I have become so used to just being a penny rather than a 2 pence
that I thought I had moved on from the ache I used to feel between my ribs
but now, as I write this,
in my one-bedroom flat on the cool sheets of my single bed,
I feel it has been there all along.