from all the gaps between

all the planets, all the spaces

between fingers and between

universes, there is nothing

further apart than this moment

from the moment that came

before and maybe this is why I

miss you so much. Not because

you are far from me, no, I see

you over my shoulder in all the

quiet moments, I smell you on

the shirts of friends and on the

hands of my grandmother, but

because the moments after you

have suddenly burst back in to

life, a fireball of memory, the

cornucopia of a childhood,

adolescence and brief adult

life that I was so lucky to share

with you, the moments that

come after these remind me

that there is nothing further

away, nothing in this world, in

this life, than the moment once

it has passed.

That bitch

Before you tell me

that my body is something I have to cover,

on the behalf of boys that

I will never speak to,

 

Let me tell you to FUCK OFF

because maybe I was born exactly like this

and my body is something I have

spent seventeen years coming to terms

with, and let me tell you right now that I

don’t have that kind of time to show you

how I did it, that each cell in this body once

reverberated with utter self-loathing

and some days it still does, sometimes

I am no more than a fucking tuning fork

because I shake so hard to the tune of

“I hate my body” and “my boobs don’t fit

this” and “I can’t buy skirts long enough”

because in a country of petite, I am long

legs, big boobs and hair that can’t be

tamed, I don’t need you to remind me.

 

I don’t need your dismissal, I don’t need

to hear how the needs of perverts and the

means that you use to control them come

above the fact that I needed to move today,

no one tells the ocean tide to stop when it’s

waves distract the shore, do not put my body

in the confines of “sexual” or “on display”,

I’ll have you know that I’m wearing clothes.

 

I wear clothes that empower, smooth legs and

skirts that fall above my knees remind me that

I am a woman and that I am powerful, that

no matter how many boys, men and teachers

say to me, “honey this is physics, are you lost?”,

that I have passed every test, that I study twice

as hard, not because I have to but because I can,

I took my maths two years early do not look

down at me under the façade of dismissal, I know

you just want to see down my top. But you know

what, I got my breasts from my mother and she

is the most powerful woman I know, I see you

trying to hide yours under baggy shirts and high-

necked 80’s wear, no one takes you any more

seriously just because you hate yourself as much

as they hate you, wear what you like, this is all

that will ever belong to you in this world where

women do almost seventy percent of the work and

own less than one percent of the land, do not think

you are superior because your tits are smaller than

mine.

 

Do not tell me what to wear when others tell me what

to think, others tell me what to feel, others tell me what

I will learn and where I will go, who I will be, and

God fucking knows that I do not need you to tell me

what will protect the only thing that will ever be mine.

Happiness

If happiness is what you seek from me,

find me on my best friend’s bed as we

watch (another) grim episode of a French

drama. Or as we sneak to the kitchen

for the biggest bowl of dry granola that

anyone  has ever seen, complain,

and return to the blindingly bright fridge

for water and stumble back to the dimly-lit

cave of introspective French musings laced

with the hysterical laughter of teenage girls,

a cocktail of two parts serious, one part what

are we doing and shaken til dizzy, find me in

those moments and behind my eyes there

will be joyous flames that convince you that

even forest fires burn far too half heartedly.

 

 

Day 20

I have immortalized you in my writing,

Burned your face into the backs of my eyelids

and thought of you daily for years, why?

 

I suppose I had belief in the notion that

One day you would want to know what

colour my eyes were in the morning,

compared to the colour they are at night.

Maybe that you’d notice the different

colours in my hair or the way I think

spine doesn’t sit quite in the middle of

My back and so I’m always bending to the left.

Maybe you would want to know all the

things that I know about you, what photos

I keep by my bed or what drawer I keep

my socks in.

 

But by the time you’ve noticed that my eyes

are greyer as the day goes on, seen the vertebrae

down my body that I think are mismatched, know

that there is a picture of you on my shelf or

that I keep my socks in with my tights, it will

all be too late because that  will be the day

that I finally give you up, I check in to an asylum

and tell them the story of how the sun died every

night just to let the moon breathe for a while.

Day 18

I often fall behind

on things I am meant to do.

I come up with excuses

Until my face is very blue.

‘Tomorrow” I say

“In half an hour maybe” I muse

My tardiness is like

A very permanent bruise.

I should have

Spoke to you by now, really

But the truth

Seems like a prospect far too dreary.

 

Day 17

That night we said goodbye, I wanted to say I love you,

But I simply said goodnight.

Because I know that love will always mean falling and well

He is afraid of heights.