Pillow talk

Your fingertips, half asleep

Used to trace over my skin,

Over goosebumps,

So lightly that

I could not tell

If I was imagining it.

Then I was

Only imagining it.


“I love you”,

Half-mumbled into the pillows

Did I imagine that too?


Now I avoid your eyes as we

Pretend not to notice each other

Or else we have to make small talk

Which is even more painful.


Half awake and

Half asleep

In the early mornings;

The radio on low,

The light dancing

Over my reluctant eyelids.

Do I remember a shared happiness

Or was it all in my mind?


Smile darling!

Do not tell me to smile;

My mouth is not yours to control,

My face is not yours to change,

My mood is not yours to own.


I do not belong to you and none

Of me is yours to take.

Neither do I need you,

Nor want you,

Nor know you.


I have enough friends and

I have had enough of you,

Your words in my ear,

Your fingers on my arm.


I am a person, not a puppet,

You are so, so wrong to think

That I owe you anything.


Never tell me it is lighthearted

When you get excited by the fear in my eyes.

If you have a daughter

I hope she never feels the same fear.




Like a cog in the workings of a clock,

I am pushed around

By the other cogs.

Alone I feel the gears

Grinding against me.

They do not know how I feel,

While I cannot understand their inner thoughts.

We must assume each other to be fine;

Everything is alright,

So long as we keep working,

The clock must keep ticking.


With digital clocks we are less useful.

Trying to prove our usefulness

Every day

As we are told that we are replaceable;

Younger cogs are brighter,

If we try to stop or slow down

We become warped

And we will not be the same again.


Sticky sweetness bound together

By oats in the morning drizzle

Grey days poured away with the milk

As the sugar clumps in my mouth.

Waking up before daybreak

To only the light from the water tower,

I pull my scratchy tights on,

Stumble downstairs to my breakfast.

I am so tired and eat so slowly

That the porridge hardens and cools,

Feeling heavy in my stomach.

Dawn streaks across the sky while I rush,

Late again, to my classes.

I cannot say I  miss those primary school days.






Winter Wonderland

The rink is sliced up from the many feet

That have cut across it with their blades,

Some nimble, some unsteady as a foal,

Scarring the ice in every direction.

The rain has come and gone,

Leaving behind several shallow puddles

Which we must skirt around.


My woolen scarf is wound tight around my neck,

But my gloves are worn through,

So I feel the warmth of your dry hands.

When you press your thumbs against mine

I wonder at what we have lost

Time and time again.


I feel your soft imprint on my palm, on my mind.

Never have I been so at war within myself,

starting to feel like I don’t have any answers.


We could live anywhere but here

Yet we never feel at home

Neither in the heat nor in the snow and the damaged ice.





A Day at the Coast

He licks the salt off my lips

As the sea gushes forth

I am blinded by the sun and lost in my thoughts.

He holds my hand and the sea flashes above us

The cold light pinning us down.

The waves tug at my dress while the rocks caress my feet,

smooth from years of being beaten down,

shiny yet worn and old.

There is no one on the beach and there is no one in the sea

Save for us and the greying birds

Who circle above the encroaching tide with silent beaks,

Waiting and watching for unsuspecting food.

My hands are tangled with seaweed and his eyes are closed shut against the current.

On the way home we shiver in our towels, sand in our hair, and on my mind

Are the sharp silver fish that flitted around our feet as we got close to the shore.