Sunset in the shower

Enter the shower

Perfectly timed

To witness

The spray of red and pink

Sliced across my jawline

And scattered shots

Of blue and black

Peppered across the tops of my shoulders

.

.

The light darkens and purple

Flows over my breast

Cupping my stomach

And throwing itself off

The ledge of my navel

Black tinges my knees grey

before dropping

Into the murky waters

at my feet

.

.

The light persists

And the question

What will remove it?

Will turpentine?

Will bleach?

Will a paint scraper that

Scrapes layers and layers

Till only white bone remains?

.

The light is fading

And I have never felt so tired

But for a moment

I know what it is to feel beautiful

The encounter

Sorry I turned up at your door this way

All dressed up

On my way from a coffee shop

So sorry you know

Didn’t come to see you 

Again

That’d be embarrassing

Just came to see your friend

Selling weed out his window

Cept he’s closed it now so I’ve had to knock

And now it’s gone quiet

But here he is

Top of the stairs by the landing

So I’ll just squeeze past

If you really don’t mind

Sorry if I brushed your arm

I didn’t mean it to end like this

A familiar sense of falling

To walk into this kitchen is to see

You standing, softened in the yellow light

Of the hob and red from the wine and our

earlier tries to get drunk while we cooked.

It is to see you swaying tunelessly

To our Spotify playlist whilst reaching

Out and turning from the counter and sink

to where I watch in the corner and smile.

To walk into this kitchen is to be

At the start of summer, sat on the grass,

To feel the press of an arm in maths class,

And see blue tinged light in the cold tent air.

It is to know we’ve both felt this before

And yet to try and reach out anyway.

The Giantess

My father once told me that

As a child in the mountains

Far from the city

And where the plants feel alive,

That he had once seen

A pile of giant bones

Where they had said that

A giantess once lived.

.

Then I asked him why

That she was just bones

And he then replied

That the Winter was harsh

And cows had all died

And crops didn’t grow

that everyone starved

And some children had passed

And mothers were crying

So they’d gone to the giant

And asked her for food

So she sawed off her foot

And offered it up

Because a giantess didn’t need to run.

.

And it fed the whole village

And the village rejoiced

But the seasons still came

And the winter was harsh

and the children still starved

And the crops would still die

And the livestock wouldn’t breed

So she offered her hands

Because a giantess doesn’t need to write.

.

And they kept coming back

Each winter and summer

Sometimes for the children

Sometimes for themselves

And each time the would take

A piece then another

As she offered

And their need was stronger than hers.

.

They took her hair for great nets

Her breasts for the young

Her eyes for the old

Her womb for the girls

Her thighs for the men

Her bones for the dogs

Her nose for the cows

And her flesh for the ground .

.

They took pieces and pieces

As she offered and offered

Sometimes for the children

More often themselves

And sometimes not desperate

They even just sold them

The pieces of her

They’d carved off like meat.

.

And my father looked guilty

As he told me the story

Of the giantess who’d carved herself up

To be eaten

I asked him what happened

To the giant and the people

And he told me she’d given

Till nothing remained

But that for a moment

When they came for her tongue

That she had asked why

And they couldn’t say

But that they took it regardless

And said it was fine

A girl won’t say no

And if she ever did

Then they’d cover their ears

And no one would hear.

Ritual at 2am

It’s somewhere and someone is thinking of them

Though they’re not sure if they should just laugh or just cry

Cause the wall in front of her is flecked with pale grey

And the bath where she’s sitting is colder than ice

And there’s someone’s sat slumped by the side of the tub

And his hands do not comb through the ends of her hair

And she’s not felt a moment that’s like this before

And she’ll not feel a moment that’s like this again

But he still pours cool water all over her head

And she’s scared that the dye will stay stuck to her skin

And she wonders if this is as clean as she’ll get

And she’s scared that the water will change if he feels it

Cause red wine has caused him to scream out before

And she knows it’ll end when the dye leaves the bath

And it will leave a mark on the side for some time

And she doesn’t quite know if she wants to just stay there

But she doesn’t quite know if she wants it to stain

I only feel alive when you watch me dance at midnight

Zombie is an overused metaphor

I am only alive when others observe

To spit white fire and jealousy

Red hot slurring from mouth to my vein

Magma thrown blazing across crowded rooms

Or halls or house or countries

I am potters clay waiting to be formed

Your judgement my salvation.

A suggestion of gravity

As a child,

more often then not,

when looking at the sky,

She felt like gravity would reverse

and she’d float,

fall,

release,

up into the mottled black of the great expanse so far up,

the bedroom light would be the stars

 

Sometimes,

now,

more often than then,

when she lies awake

to watch the mottled drywall

of her bedroom ceiling,

She wonders why she doesn’t fall up

and questions

if its only gravity

that keeps her tethered to the ground.

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