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

(no title) 

Being in love has been this minefield 
mindfuck
whirlwind
thing
It’s like waking up and no matter how hard you remind yourself the night before
to think about something else in the morning
you think about that one 
damn
person

It’s not really an addiction like some people say it is
It never should be
If it is 
then you’ve got a problem

Being in love should be like breathing
Sometimes through heart palpitations 
You always do it 
even if, for a second, your heart feels way up in your throat 
where it’s stuck on a beat
like a drummer who gets hopelessly distracted midway through his rhythm 
but his kit is so familiar 
he blinks
and continues seamlessly 
It’s almost like the hiccup never occurred 

Being in love has been a faith awakening 

A self awakening 

A realisation that there might be hope after all 
I might have a family of my own
after all
I am deserving 
I am life
and love 
and
hope 

I wear a suit now

Flame retardant but hardly fireproof
I wear layers to conceal and 
construct new features
Old shapes distort after
eating disorders fade from the front row of the audience 
Sometimes I stand centre stage 
and squint through the blazing theatre lights
just to wave
at the girl in the last row
She’s underweight and more tanned than me
She’s got long hair, too much eyeliner and 
not enough confidence 
I’ve seen her wear a one piece bathing suit at five foot four and forty-six kilos 
I’ve seen girls coo with jealousy over her body 
I’ve seen her starve herself;
they haven’t 
I like to familiarise myself with layers 
pretend they hold the weight of my curves
So when the scale reads fifty-eight I can laugh it off and say, 
“Damn, these Docs must weigh at least one and a half kilos
and all these layers! I probably only weigh fifty-two”
And that’s a lie

An hour to kill

Just in that moment I questioned how many drink bottles I’ve opened with my teeth. Don’t ask me why or I’ll give some nonchalant shrug and you’ll feel stupid for opening your mouth in the first place. 

I’m wearing a three hundred dollar coat I have no business owning with cherry Docs and your scarf. I’m almost in the same outfit as when my gypsy family took me to Garden of the Gods and you told me “you’re so pretty” in the antique mall where I blushed. The ceiling fans were as wide as the horizon is far, vertigo. I walked with my hand shading my face to avoid my peripherals betraying me. 

We ended up with so many collections. 

An album on someone’s phone with all the weirdest faces we could find. We spent so many hours laughing that day. I think we all cried, too. 

A stack of polaroids you glued into a Hello Kitty scrap book. 

A bank of memories I can’t forget. 

I have my own collections, too. 

Flick open the camera roll on my iPhone and scroll up, I dare you. Every photo you’ve ever sent is stored there and well cherished, backed up on my MacBook but not the cloud; fuck the cloud. 

There’s a secret album, too. It’s locked with a passcode only you could guess. It’s where the truth of our humanity lives. 

Did you know I roll the perfect cigarette every time? Even with months or years in between.

Did you know I secretly hate it?

I’m thinking about getting a tan this summer. I haven’t tanned since I was a golden child spending months that felt like decades on the beach. A child of the ocean but I could really do without sand. 

I think I want to come home blonde and bronze. Come home to a winter cold like no cold I have known. Bring you sunshine where snow blankets the yard. I’d like to imagine I’d bring home smiles and letters. A new accent. A new kind of life and laughter. 

What it is to live and love at all.

It’s still technically winter at the end of august but today the sun blesses me with its gentle warmth in Melbourne’s city centre. It’s nearly time to get to work and then it’ll be nearly time to catch a train to my sisters place. 

It’s nearly time to grow old and what bothers me about that is wondering whether I’ll do it with you,

or not.