I do not love you like the ocean, I’m much to scared of drowning. Instead I love you like a battered paperback, small enough to pocket on walks from dorm rooms to lecture halls. I love like the blanket my housemate bought me, too pink to be polite but a soft cucoon against my skin warm on cold winter nights. I love you like anything that can be forgotten tucked away or to one side, but hangs around in the quiet moments still very much alive. I do not love you like life itself, but I love you a little like breath. In the same way that I do not think about it, in the same way that to not would be nonsense in the same way that I don’t know how to stop without the pressure in my chest building to a point where I think I might shatter me pieces. I suppose I love you a little like breathing. I do not love you like the ocean though. With you I have …
The ripples are gone when I look, searching the water for a slip of silver twisting back on itself leaping skyward in panic or ecstasy perhaps. I think about you and I, or at least the phantom of us that clings to my lungs on slow days, crawls onto my shoulders to press my face down, down, down, down where I deserve to be when my own body twisted back on itself, my mouth searching for a way to swallow the words I’d spoken, to return them to the saftey of unspoken rather than the spotlight of my glowing red cheeks as I fumbled to dress myself in what I thought was maturity. I can feel nails along my spine, when I think of how much I wanted to be loved.
You stitched yourself a world of patchwork panels hanging crooked from one another. A cobbled mess of this and that, the tension off in the needlework, thread fraying loose in places. One stray breath would rip asunder everything. Yet still, you held it out.
I lost the end of myself somewhere near the start, among the scattered sheets of blotting paper sprung up on iron girder stalks. Parchment alliums staked out like skeletons, petals more like teeth, poems in the stems of them, but no air for the words to breathe. Between the leaves the stanza’s curled, coppered, golden, burnt and burnished, rhythm rolling hollow in the echos, tongue twisted through the skirmish as syllables clattered in and out silver toothed, thick lipped, broken. Turned over once, then twice, then thrice, poetic promised poured and stolen.
A ten minute sketch to try and get back into the swing of things since I haven’t drawn anything in a while. I picked the nearest thing to me which was my bedside table and decided to have a go at drawing what was on that.
The cobbles run uneven here, sloped and sinking slowly like a old man finally easing, breathing out and falling into the cushions of an armchair. When the rain comes quick and sudden, the street darkens to pitch and the rivers between the stones shimmer with stars thrown from shop windows, as the street lamps lean in closer and watch you skim across the water always too quick for me to save the picture.
There is something ritual about it, the morning stock-take of new imperfections sleep softened but dawning in the mirror’s first take cut. Some can be teased or tweased slipped beneath another skin, of crafted contours, folded to hide the everyday not found anywhere but reality. The tally builds like glass bottles, one hundred hanging on a wall but if one should fall there shall be ninety-nine and a smile to hide its absence. When there are none left to shatter you will see the shell crack, hollow and so deathly dark even the light whimpers, wanes and withers into something cold. Daily Post: Ceremony
There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence. In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine. Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before …
I imagined that she was some great coastal cliff. Stone strong for thousands of years, but now the sea has managed to find a way between the cracks and it’s taking her apart in chunks. It doesn’t sound like a landslide though. She doesn’t shriek and splinter as pieces of her sheer away from herself. There’s only silence as another memory, another name, another face, slips beneath the waves and into darkness where it can’t be reached. There are still pieces of her left. Like fossils, preserved inside the depths of the cliff face. On days where it seems like everything has crumbled, they can find a way to the light. The willow withered its roots turned to dust and ash but it kindles still.
The storm left you shivering, hair clumped and heavy headed, slumped against my doorway leaving dark spots. Still clumsy with your hands you kept them in your pockets. A promise not to reach for me despite the rain driving you, to seek out home.