The first time I met you sat behind you on the bus I could feel dark waves surrounding you, you were drowning in black waters somewhere deep within yourself. Bright empath, I reached out my hand to draw you in kept you like a black diamond sparkling in the light of my flame. I was your safety, but not enough. Through small acts of mutilation you slashed a portrait of yourself in reverse each glowing scar a bloody flare launched to an indifferent sky screaming for rescue. Whatever shame that had come to live coiled within you clutching tentacles curled around your entrails was tightening its grip on your heart It was growing every day I think it had been there, embryonic since you were a child and took root as others fed it. In old holiday photos you showed me disgusted by your fat child body you took up space but now you practice the art of disappearing. Life offered you no sustenance you could taste for real, while others gorged, you took empty bites ribs a cage, each one counting off years remaining until your final, perfect disappearing act. You burned with hot with hate you despised the selfish, anyone who hurt me. you couldn't resist giving of yourself, you would have poured yourself into glasses a little sparkling liquid for each friend and bid us farewell with a smile if it could have been that easy Like the sketches you drew teetering on a precipice of perfection and concentration dying was an art too for you, it could be no less than perfect. Six minutes is all it takes to kill the suffering forever to suffocate. What must twins feel when the other dies? You stayed close to me and I knew you were just the length of a rope away. You appeared in unusual places a dark corner of the only gay bar in our town a phantom in a smoke machine cloud. Then I stood alone in the street staring at the space you used to take up mascara streaks leaving you another voicemail as thought you could hear "How can you just disappear when my heart is still so full of you?"
As the summer slides from my hips to my thighs I cannot tear myself from thoughts of your wild-cat eyes. How your hands would caress with such deftness and exactness traversing my buttresses and valleys as one who has known a land since before memory began not a step mislaid you find my secretive sun-filled glades bring forth lakes where once there were none til the whole mountainside crumbles and trembles. I was trying to remember the first time I said I love you. Humidity and a summer night and sweat of bodies pressing together ecstacy taking flight opening up every pore of pleasure every tingling sensual receptor. My reserves of sadness a sea-glass jar of tears shattered on the rocks. I wanted to be carried away on that tide of yours so I clung to you asked you never to leave me. If my words are playful yours are masterful you take dun threads of reality and spin phantom worlds that I want hide inside flee from the mundanity that we both despise you're a composite of contradictions somehow there's truth in your lies. How to not be together? When we're quantum particles and one's actions affect the other even at a distance that only the light of the most distant star can traverse. No one can explain this poetry of physics: how when you stub out your cigarette at the polar end of the city the cold ash comes to settle on my heart; how as your eyes close I fall asleep, and dream of you and when the hot core of your doomed star burns out not a spark of your energy will disappear but will elide into other forms maybe I've already had my fair share of your light lending my moon its sensual glow Why can't I let you go?
(CW childhood sexual abuse) There's things I can barely bring myself to look at, but if you ignore a body decomposing upstream, your water will still be tainted. Every mouthful that should restore you, will sicken and corrupt you. Until it becomes impossible to live. In your victims, you found the erotic thrill of power. Control and desire satisfied. But the body was not enough for you, you wanted conquest of the mind. I played the part you scripted for me so well Like I was born to be the predator's kill. You started small, set me challenges I was a child so keen for praise, begging to be deemed worthy. I wasn't allowed to be a minute late, for our secret rendez-vous Else I disappoint you. There was a satisfaction in punishment and reward. And I did the best tricks, became your prize puppy. That summer you took a biro, pushed up my skirt and etched your name onto the pale fat of my thigh. You chose me. And I believed I was found, Like a convert bathing in divine light. Your claim on me swelled, like a cancerous growth You bit my virgin face, as though you wanted to consume me. For days I examined that bruise with glee Delighted that I could be delectable enough to be a worthy appetiser. In the dark cinema, Watching a children's cartoon film You lifted my body on top of yours slotted your penis into me as though you had the right. I loved the powerlessness of being owned. I get aroused writing about it now, so how can I believe myself the victim? your ultimate dominion over me, was to make me complicit Once your claim on me, ran right through my flesh, like an indelible water mark, or a seaside stick of candy, you no longer had to use proclamations of undying love, to keep me bound to you. Maybe one night you had picked me up from the sofa and thrown me onto the floor like so much dirty laundry but later it would all be OK, if you would manoeuvre my small body into position to penetrate my tightest place and I could tell myself, through the pain and tears, streaming down my face: At least you want me now. When you decided you'd finished you delighted in your, masterful final act. Your pleasure was in control, in your power to evoke tears with a single word. Gently you would caress the little bunny until its body went limp, At this point you would crush it in your fist feeling small bird-bones snapping. You laughed so loudly when I wanted to know if you still loved me. You were fascinated seeing me weep, tears were just as erotic for you, as the cries of pleasure wrenched from my body. Now you said the meanest things to the specimen, as the experiment neared its end, you wanted to see if its muscles would spasm and twitch like a dead creature shot through with electric. My parents should have bought a small coffin And buried, in place of my body some white roses as that summer drew to a close, because the child that had been there before was nowhere to be found. But instead, they didn't notice I was gone I got good at pretending to be her, the girl who was there before. Sometimes I did things she wouldn't have done Like drinking until I vomited Lying on the grass verge outside the house. Just keep your mouth shut, they said tell boys you're a virgin if they ask. If it was always him doing it to you it's not as bad, as you seeking it out. For God's sake don't write about it on the internet, what will people think of you?
When you were a curled up sprig of life gestating unbidden inside me Your urge to life was too insistent Long months I tried to ignore you until patient, determined germination brought you feet-running into the world. You appeared to be a beautiful cutting of the same blossom tree Yet your spirit is much stronger than mine From the first day you were making fists And swinging them at the world. Today we plucked daisies, scattered in a meadow You wanted only those tinged with violet I would crawl on hands and knees for you to find your amythyst treasure even if later, you tossed your flower crown in a stream with a maniacal laugh. Once you fell from a tree, knees bloodied You howled, not with the fear and panic of a normal child But with indignation and rage, as you staggered to your feet. You look pain and injustice dead in the eyes, No one can bend your will, you will bow down to no man My small leader of the revolution. If I give the appearance of resilience It is only in the way pine sap hardens After you puncture the soft belly-fat of the tree I'm a pine nut, that splinters underfoot. But you, my tiny rebel Let no one crack the glittering encasement Of your abalone spirit. I tremble before the world, but I see your child self Stand up and face it, unblinking When you are a woman, You will be a force formidable.
As the call disconnects angry insults launched forth with a bitter fury come to settle like thick riverbed mud. I extinguish the light waiting for my heart to stop racing. Then, a silver coin glinting in moonlight traces a trajectory through the darkness. It spins into the void Plummeting down a well. I follow its journey See and feel its long fall downwards and downwards A painful tug of adrenaline takes me with it I can't stop the sensation of falling. I am no longer comfortably attached to my body. Before we sleep we research, with the desperation of a condemned wretch ways to stop the ageing process. If all else is taken from us, we will exchange anything to prevent this indignity. They say the paralysing agent, as it is forced into the epidermis makes a sound exactly that of snow crunching underfoot. Can they give me a cure for the degradation of my soul? Can they freeze memories of the ways my spring sapling body was bent when it was still so malleable and compliant so that I can shatter them and crunch them underfoot into tiny brittle shards.
Last night, a whistling rang out piercing the empty rooms. I searched every dark corner, like a lost child seeking its mother searching for the source of my discomfort. As the sun set, withdrawing its bony fingers of gold from my windows I found myself in total darkness. I took the bedsheets and shrouded myself in self-pity. Sleep gathered me up, took me down to a strange place, I dreamed that my blood flowed out staining the bedsheets, as a beautiful rorscharch test. Later they would bring you in, ask you what you see? Is there anything you recognise? Or is it all meaningless blots? There are no right or wrong answers. I dreamed you came back to me, Tearing into the room, with love and angst etched on your familiar face. You would tear the curtains open, let the golden dawn dissipate this nightmare. Use that voice you have, that can calm a dying beast. Run your fingers through my hair, like that first time I was sick. When I awoke, A grey light penetrated the derangement, of my room for one My bed sheets tied in tortured knots like a grieving widow's arthritic fingers my nightgown removed and lying on the floor like a crumpled buttonhole rose Discarded in the dirt.
Obsidian is the colour, a darkness that reflects nothing but itself, infinitesimally. A haunted fun-house of mirrors, a scream repeating forever. Those obsidian shards, plunge into your flesh, as I thrust my tongue into your mouth, a thousand entry wounds, Christ-like; scarlet rivulets begin to flow forth, I force the slivers in deeper, as I draw you in to me, The glinting razor edge, penetrates just to the edge of your heart. I pull out the shards, release rivulets of black-red life-flow. I know I'm causing you pain, I can't stop. You enfold me in the agony of desire. You painted a portrait of me, worked tirelessly on it for years, the brushstrokes, sometimes delicate as a caress, sometimes rough with desire, or blurred by love torn tears. The colours have amalgamated, become grotesque. You stuck me in an attic and didn't see the change. The muse animates; a monster come to life, she paints a portrait of you, with a palette of earth and blood. She is stalking you through these long days Hating you and loving you, in ecstasy and pain.
The word 'lockdown' in my language has a more bittersweet taste. In yours, it's a metallic grating of keys, screams of death and life-agonies sweeping down ammonia corridors to be swallowed forever by padding, for your own safety, of course. My 'cloi' was more a retreat suffused with incense. I curled up there, amoeba-like, as a child, Inhaled faith and disturbed dust, listened at doors, imagination proffering internal adventures, that spiralled inwards, like concentric whorls of coloured thread. In that cloak of ancient ritual My father swaddled me, lifting my sleeping body gently from the back seat of the car after a long, long journey through the night. Today I have no God, no father, Nor the other men I entreated to shape my formless clay into something more substantial. I have transformed them into constellations of stars Coldly indifferent and infinitely distant. I observe them, but they don't see me. Now I rename myself, Artemis the hunter, I climb trees at night, Outside the dwelling of the last man I loved, My limbs twisting around branches Foxes are my kin now, more than my supposed kind. The insouciant laughter that reaches me From open windows, as she shrieks into the night Is more alien than ovine birth-cries those senseless and cruel tearings into life that echo miles over dark hills A portent of my agonising rebirth.
The signs read "In despair?" Yes, I thought under sodium Victorian gaslamps. I crossed that famous bridge, infamous for suicides: those humans transformed from flesh into small-print morbid curiosities huddling as a footnote in a local newspaper like the suicidal kid at a party desiring nothing by to blend into nothingness noticed only by those cursed enough to see themselves reflected in soon to be extinguished eyes. You took me to your house, I needed to be led, supported I was drowning inside myself. The alcohol I carried within me, might embalm my twisted entrails, deaden for a moment the screaming inside. I thought you had an understanding face. The voice of a man-child. Harmless enough. You untwisted the claws of my fingers from The thin plastic corner shop carrier bag It tore. I was tensed into the wrought iron of the suicide bridge Immovable to give the impression of safety. I understood too late The cold indifference of the bridge An impersonal structure conducting human heat away Passively a conduit of the extinguishing of universes. It was not a form that a human being can be forged into. Yet, my hands did not resist when you pushed your body on top of me. Later, I carried on being a human, my transformation into something metallic and durable had begun I rejected the will to slip off the edge and be embraced by darkness a soft and pure being Now corrosion creeps over me and I oxidise a little more each day.