One final visit to the town that has been my home.
Or perhaps one day there will be another?
Not for the foreseeable future:
When will I see that stretch of coast again,
Hear the many seagulls call across the breeze?
I will miss the open spaces, the narrow streets too.
I seem to fall in love with every place in which I live
And leave part of me behind when I go away,
But the urge to pack up and move does not leave.
Goodbye for now, to this green and sprawling town,
To the salted air and busy roads.
If I see you again, we will both have changed.
I followed you
To make a new life for us,
Which was a gamble,
Although I never take risks
And I wish I hadn’t.
I gave up what I had
Now I start again from nothing,
Nobody knows me, or cares to,
In this lonely place,
And I wish I had stayed behind.
I still listen to your breathing
Try to time it with mine:
In-hold, two, three- and out, two, three, and four
I realise that I still love you
But sometimes I wish I didn’t.
If my wishes could carry me away
We would float off
Quietly, in the night,
Where I would sleep alone without thinking of you
For a while.
The road to hell is paved
With desires such as yours:
To love me as much as I love you.
I can tell you want to love me more,
More than you really do,
But it is not something you can force.
Love is not squeezed out of the soul
Like a tube of glue
Or that last bit of toothpaste.
We both know that.
Now we have a voice within us
Telling us we are not enough.
I do not know how to waltz,
Yet I could learn;
Awed by the grace of the practised dancers
Swirling and twirling
With the ease of a swan,
In silver dresses and dark suits,
I could take to the floor with you,
Stumbling and laughing,
Becoming sure-footed in time.
Although we do not know this piece,
Played by the violins and cellos,
We can learn that too.
Humming to ourselves
The repeated strains;
Gentle dancing quavers
Which float and shiver
Until we memorise them.
I do not know what we will say
To one another
When we return home.
Like the music and the waltz though
The words will run through my mind,
In a comforting rhythm,
When I think of you.
“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.
Your fingertips, half asleep
Used to trace over my skin,
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
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?
His spiteful words hung unanswered in the air as they stood in the hallway,
While she kept completely silent, unmoving, staring vacantly into space
Because she knew how much it unnerved him.
She told herself not to tear up and showed no emotion;
Instead she gazed at the wall just to his left, as if it meant much more to her than he did.
He had made her feel like she needed him
But she came to realise that she didn’t need the insults he threw at her to vent his frustration
Neither did she need the feeling of guilt that pervaded her days
Souring her enjoyment of time spent with her friends.
In fact she now knew that she felt better without him,
That she was more alive on her own.