The sun drops and the floor beneath me is aching
Under the weight of the bodies moving and shaking
I stride into the nighttime as if it poses no danger
But find myself peeling my skin off of a stranger
We’re close enough to break each others bones
Yet you’re body is behaving as if we’re alone.
I drink alcohol off your breath, when you scream ‘sweet nothings’ in my ear
And it sticks in my throat with the words I want you to hear.
But instead I feel shivers climb down my spine
Before I realise you have your hands on what is mine
My mind is silent and my body is still
Too shocked to stop you but still hoping you will.
I thought it went without saying that skin is not public domain
Yet still I shiver, but this time, not with fear, but with shame
And like a blanket, I pull vulnerability around my arms
Realising I am unable to protect myself from harm
And just as I tear myself apart for not cursing at you
I see almost all of those bodies around me are saying ‘me too’.
I am away from me
I can see it in the distance, my ship out at sea
But night drops into the water without leaving a comforting reflection
I know I have lost even the moon’s affection
And although I have felt water around my ankles before
It’s never any less chilling parting from the shore.
Yet I feel nothing for a moment.
Not even the cold water seeping into my skin
Not even the wind, biting at me, tearing through everything.
I can’t even hear the shriek of its screams in the air
But that’s when I see it. Distorted, uncertain, but I see it there.
Sitting in shallow waters I find an anchor that is not my own
An enormity washes over me when I realise I’m not alone.
I pull at its chains, rust staining my skin
Desperation to find where this anchor begins
But it submerges itself in sand, I struggle against its weight
A disillusion of the sea but I realise too late
An anchor latching onto the past, of what used to be
But now I find myself even further away from me.
There’s gum at the bottom of this table and it’s reminding me of you
It’s solid and unappealing, no longer desirable to chew
Someone thought they’d leave it here, getting rid of it in haste
Banishing it out of sight with sudden and certain distaste.
When I touch it, my body shudders and cringes back into itself
And I question for a moment why anyone would put that in their mouth
But then I think of you and how you worm into people’s lives
Then I realise why the consumption of gum continues to thrive
Though you might be flavourless, you’re coated in something sweet
And that’s convinced even the best of us, it’s good enough to eat
But under that coating, there’s really nothing to you
No substance, no originality and you are tasteless to chew
So there’s no surprise at the bottom of table someone tried to get rid
Because I remember spitting you out was the best thing I’d ever did.
And there is no greater part of me
Which longs to be anywhere but beside the sea
The distance blurs into the soft skyline
And for that moment everything in the world seems fine
The water moves cautiously trying to make waves without sound
To cleanse all the noise and the chaos yet to be found
And all in that moment the sun melts into the sea
Leaving flickers of orange for all to see
And as the last flecks of orange graciously lose their reflection
The sea beneath me greets the moonlight ad his warm, sleepy affection.
Do we welcome night?
Though we know its certitude
We lose our own light
And with it a degree of gratitude.
It plunges from the sky
Taking with it specks of sun
Yet we turn a blind eye
When darkness has begun.
I’m not one to say
That I miss the bustle
That light brings this way
In frantic, inpatient hustle
But I do miss how the sunshine
Pulls up the mud from the ground
Lifts even what dirt is mine
When I thought it could never be found.
It is only then when I realise
That I’ll always wait for day to break
So that I can stretch my eyes
And see what the sunshine will make
And if it makes me nothing
Then I will be okay
Because I know it might make something,
On another day.
I have not enough depth to me
Not nearly enough body
I waver when without clarity
And envy those greater than me.
I question my own value
As my existence has been short
Although my will may ring true
I’m not acknowledged with thought.
In each ripple as it unfolds
Boots sink into me
Too heavy to hold.
I’m merely the byproduct
I hold a fraction of downpour
And though my contributions are feeble
I want to be more.
With water I can be,
It shimmers on my surface
Although they still look down at me
They’re acknowledging my purpose.
Many of us will let go
To what little we hold
But I want them to be surprised
When my ripples unfold.
Down at 11 and up at 1
Long after I saw the setting of the sun
Long before I know I’ll see it again
As the night replays every moment of happiness
anger and pain.
And then from 1 I crawl into 3
Let the silence soak into all of me
Let the ceiling fall into my skin
And drag the room around me closer in
Counting from 3, until I can see 4
The dawn seeping underneath my door
As if I couldn’t hear it coming for me
It rips away my eyelids for me to see
It’s when 4 turns into 5
That I know my dreams cannot survive
I fight brightness and I count sheep
I even claw at nightmares just to fall asleep
I don’t wait for morning but it comes for me
Ripping me back through the clouds without gravity
I thought I had healed the sickness that kept me from sleeping
But the back of my eyes are burning and I can’t remember anything.
There are waves on my insides, making movements of the subtle sea
This rise and fall of the water has long been with me
But today waves are ruly, breaking the bones beneath my skin
Forcing me to the floor and reminding me of the position I’m in
Are bones for breaking? There is just so much I don’t know
Even after the years where I’ve let these waves come and go
Bulging, bursting and busting at the seams, the feeling is unsettling yet,
Still so sweetly familiar, like a home comfort, it is hard to forget
On the stormiest nights, the waves whisper the worst of words in my ear
And I am wide eyed and wondering just what it was that got me here
But I listen regardless and let the water hit me even when it is bitterly cold
It is almost sickening, but it continues to tell me a story that is yet to grow old
I cannot swim and I do not wish to, but I still find myself sitting on the shore
And I could wade out of the shallow waters but why haven’t I done that before?
I am not one to get sea sick, despite the weight on my bones and stretch in my skin
But I still long to be by water, even when I have no desire to get in.
Further than the eye can see
As the waves crash over me
The salt sticks to my wounds
And I find I am indulging in sadness
Allowing it to soak into my bones
Swallowing the blood inside my veins
Dragging me down
Until I am drowning
Wading out from water
I’m sure I felt sun on my skin
Sure I had conquered the highest tide
And could conquer anything
But with it the waves,
Had sunken my pride
And as naïve as I were
I thought I could swim
Looking down at that water now
I am careful to locate my reflection
As I submerge my skin
I have no wounds to feel any sharpness
I feel only weightless
As the waves lift me, it is effortless
And I realise this is happiness
Slowly, I am moving through the water
And now I am swimming.
It’s like sitting on a moving train
Head heavy against the glass
Skin sticking against the window pane
Watching the world go past.
I am not your stone’s throw away
I’m further than what the crow is willing to fly
As he settles in the nest he wants to stay
Whilst I am reaching a goodbye
And it’s like resting on a stranger’s skin
During the bustle of a Friday afternoon
Staring at ceilings, holding the breath in
And hoping you’ll get there soon.
It’s not that I am tired but I just keep going
It’s not even getting me down or wearing thin
I am just moving without really knowing
Where it is that my life is happening.