“It is so sweet that you care.

Thank you for trying to help me.”

Those are the words I want to say;

Trapped in my throat before they reach you,

They sputter and fall

In the air between us,

Heavy with regret.


Although my gratitude remains unspoken

I hope you know what I want to say,

Because I am thankful to you.

Everyday I have new reasons to be.

Yet how can I expect you to know,

As if you can read all my thoughts

In my eyes or on my lips?


I want to tell you that

Sometimes I need to fuck up,

To see the damage I cause.

Do not bring me back

From this chasm;

I do not want you

To fall in with me.




Through the Grove

Crushed leaves underfoot

From the orange trees above us

As we stomp through the grove,


To scare away any snakes

Who might be lurking,

Although we rarely see them.


Rotting skin of fallen oranges

Decaying in the dried grass;

Streams of ants

Rushing to and from the fruit

As you splash in the puddles

Made by the old green hose.


We stack small stones,

Rake the dry dirt together,

Draw with twigs along the ground,

Water the weeds.


So many questions

Which I had never thought about;

You help me see the world

Through new eyes,

With new wonder.

You make me realise

How little I know.


The scent is beautiful

From the orange leaves:

Inhaled and gone in an instant,

As these days will be,

When I look back on them.

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.