The cemetery

I touched the wrought iron gates and

I said goodbye to parts of me

I threw them a ceremonial ocean burial

but still purchased a headstone

I torched them and told them to thank God on their way through His gates

Thank him for the challenges he set before me

and tell Him that I am not sure how long I will be

He knows of my pitch dark sorrow

as He knows of my unbeatable strength

I cried at the departure of me

where angels visited and kissed my tears away

I wore my trousers through at the knees

praying for but a mere moment of calmness within me

For a hand to hold through the night

and a gentle voice to wake me from the nightmares which plague me

I said one last goodbye

and waved slowly to the corpse of my misery

Hold this birds bones in remarkable hands

I found my eyes caught

like a fishing hook in cheek

or wing

on hands resembling your hands

I sat across from a Jewish gentleman

his face so soft

while his ears stood alert

horizontal

peaked crimson from the cold

I watched his hands for far too long

he even had an estranged thumb

A boy across the carriage had green hair

and he smiled at me

a wintery grin

with chapped lips and flushed cheeks

I figured he must have run for the train

I flashed a halfhearted smile in return

before swinging my eyes back to those hands

where they settled

buried in memories

and I realised that I must have spent

hours cradling yours

Quiet lies

I lie to myself

more than I care to admit

Like a secret garden of poppies

ripe opium

Like ancient hazy dens

brimming with dazed men

and women dressed of an evening

hushed and speaking

in delicate tongues to minds well altered

I change my mind

rarely

Fall out of love

never

Where I graze my knees

then my tibia snaps

and my spine follows suit

The bells toll in the chapel

and I do not argue

though I quietly complain

about broken bones

and this heart that shivers in warm waters

Again, I lie

shush truths like women

of the night

soothing troubled waters

and taking fingers in mouths

For all the strength I have gathered

in cane baskets laced over arms

I may be capable of carrying mountains

If not mountains

perhaps

cathedrals

Ukrainian mink

I can still ride my bicycle with no hands, today I discovered that. I guess it’s one of those things that’s… well, you know.

Like climbing my childhood ladder with no hands. She still got it.

I rode to the beach and sat amongst sunshine. Looking out over the peninsular I felt nothing for it. I knew I should be coo-ing over the beauty of it all, but I couldn’t. I recognised the familiar stretch of ocean. Those syrupy sands dashed wish red rocks and native grasses. I saw people strolling, could hear their ooh’s and ahh’s from my perch on the cliff. In that moment I felt like crying.

A plane jutted in and out of cloud cover overhead and I checked my phone. One hundred and sixty-two days until I’m pushed back into my seat, buckle digging into my stomach and the heat of early autumn forcing its way through tiny windows.

Kissing my mother’s cheeks goodbye at the international departure zone where the notion of home sets me free. Paper notes in my purse and letters for my chosen family tucked into my journal for safekeeping between Melbourne and the Springs.

Oh, how I long to be covered in the sweet, symphonic embrace of distant souls. Tangled in conversation and heartbeats holding heartbeats in the palms of hands the very same size as mine own.

How tantalising the taste of altitude meshed with attitude. How bright the sun and cold the last snows of winter.

I inch achingly close to you with every text, every day laid to rest in the casket of my calendar with a simple slash as I slump into bed at all hours.

Be it dusk or dawn, company causes shifts in motion. Sleep is the antidote to minutes that feel like decades while creativity is a paradoxical equation.

How some lines feel heavy in duration and others a mere sprint. Catharsis is found by needle point, beneath bright lights and the hum of machines where being vulnerable is my skin being caressed by the sweet kiss of permanence.

Until the tender kiss of death’s chapped lips holds me under like siren’s steal sailors.

Sitting in a storm of unease swirled with ecstasy at a safe distance from the sand I watched that plane as it dissolves into the distance. I held my hand and closed my eyes,

one hundred and sixty-two days

until home is not just a memory.

I was unprepared to title this post

When it’s prepped and primed

it’s ugly

Falsities killing dragonflies

under steel cap boots like mountains 

But when it’s raw and rearing

striking iron on iron like sparks 

from kisses, lit in depths of pale moon drenched nights 

it’s spectacular 

Sliding between sheets of silk and sandpaper

because on one hand you’re all in

Chips like seashells strewn across stretches of coastline

Rolling those dice 

Taking oxygen deep into your lungs just to

b l o w 

On the other submissive hand

the terror in your eyes shouts 

where your pupils shatter boundaries 

and earth becomes a distant, blue speck in the rear view mirror

because all you ever wanted 

was to 

get

f u c k e d

An invitation to understand 

When I am in love,

would you trust me when I say—

the sun shines from the ground up?

Wind blows from within and

it is I who pulls the tide

Compasses request me, in tinny little voices

for navigation

I am the allocated darkness 

as I am part and parcel light

Withered flora regains its greatest bloom

while bows and hammers play me

Shoes wear me for support and remedy

When I am in love

I sting bees

before dying 

Seasonal chaos

Birds chiming in the wind
akin to threads of delicate
Tibetan bells
caressing my ankles
Rain silently falls before me at the edge of
my universe 
where I see shadows
dragging themselves through the slaugh
Ankle deep in shit and 
the tender embrace of autumn leaves
Colour fades beyond edge of my universe
Where rainbows are abundant
in greyscale
Behind me I feel the essence of a vibrant world
warming my back 
like the gentle pressure of him encompassing me
Where those birds sing with
lacquered halos gracing delicate skulls
and perfect beaks with no remorse

Sex

He shaved my head in the strange faux leather seat at his salon, grin pasted on his face with something more like liquid nails than clag. I felt the vibration of the clippers in my teeth and hated it. Foilers were worse, imagine a cheese grater cutting your hair right to the scalp. 

I thought I would cry,

but I didn’t. 

It was the burden of insecurity slipping in clumped locks to the polished concrete floor. I tasted victory and peppermint. 

He planted the seed less than twenty-four hours prior, surrendering to a partial clip and I squealed “no fucking way, buddy!” 

Look at me now,

oozing sex appeal and confidence. 

Half guard, buzzed tight, right back. Bleach bombed and painted acid green. No where to hide. Bangs? What bangs? 

I’m all face and all attitude. I can walk the walk better than I can talk the talk, my actions scream louder than my words and I feel unfamiliar to myself. New denim blue eyes search denim blue eyes in the mirror and I smile for the first time, honestly. 

Still, I lack an ego. Still, I shy from compliments like they’ll taint me with disease. Arrogance is not in my nature nor my vocabulary but confidence has clawed its way in. Tooth and nail, fought its way through hoards of depressive monsters wearing torn cloth and a cloak of faith. 

I breathe deep into my diaphragm,

and I Thank God. Thank the boy who buzzed me. Thank the man who gave me sight once more. 

Your tatterdemalion creature of five foot four has found the wings you told her were hers all along. She has found the voice she swore she had lost and blown kisses into the night knowing they’d reach you eventually. 

Train

The chai latte in my hand is making me sweat and I’m sat beside a school kid on the train. I’m holding back tears today, can’t have mascara running in a fancy suit shop but bed hair and smudged eyeliner is perfectly acceptable. Go figure. 

I think I’ve lost my knack. 

Words are beginning to feel foreign spilling from these thumbs and my nails need attention. I look shabby, undone. I feel the return of a longing for change. 

I regret letting myself fall into the same reflection day in; day out. My skin is too bare. Not enough surface scars. Not enough art. I am not myself yet. 

Guilt nips at my ankles as my strides turn to whispers on the pavement. I sent a stupid text thinking it might be funny but I turned out looking ignorant or selfish or something. Nips turn to a full blown mauling as I stumble over my own syllables disguised as untied shoelaces. I feel but a fool. 

My heart trembles in my rib cage like stones shaken in a glass jar, I hear the sounds of my undoing resonate through the bones of me. My structure is failing. Shoddy carpentry job, engineering is all wrong. 

It must have stormed over my blue ocean eyes  filling them to breaking point. It’s the only conclusion. 

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, overmorrow

I had never been more in love than on the Fourth of July 
then again,
on the fifth when we spent all day in sweats and 
the sweat of summer
Taking turns to shower 
Where I showed myself off to you post cleanse
in red lingerie
and again in a genuine vintage nightgown we found for seven bucks 
It was after that you took me in your arms and played with my hair 
you adored my perfume
almost as much as you adored my bare skin beneath nylon

Then again,
on the ninth
where I regretted not kissing you one last time in front of your friends
I remember how your cheek felt when I carefully chose it over your mouth
Still, 
I laid that kiss closer than your mother would
with both hands holding your face
and the sound of the public behind us

I have never been more in love than right now
and I guarantee that tomorrow
I will be more in love than today
The clock always strikes midnight
and we always have our eleven:eleven 
but time never ticks in reverse
and I never get younger

My crows feet have more depth today
than yesterday
and my fingers feel more arthritic 
but I secretly love the 
irreversible damage
It’s the permanence that excites me
The way you can’t un-hear my words
un-read them
or un-see my nakedness 
You can’t forget how petite my waist feels in your hands
How quenching my kiss is to your parched mouth
How my skin tastes on your worldly tongue 

I will wake up and be more in love than I was today
Tomorrow I will love you more
and on the dawn of the overmorrow 
and dusk the day following that
I wonder if perhaps 
there will come a day when I don’t love you more than the day which preceded it 
I highly doubt it