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.

I don’t know my own accent

I’m stuck with a transient accent
All my thank you’s sound
Americanised
Each of my how are you’s 
sound out like howreyou?
c o n d e n s e d 
and American
My British alter ego visits 
some days she’s northern 
some days she’s southern
She’s fading fast
I think I like that?
It’s subconscious 
automatic
A coping mechanism, perhaps
or a guise,
perhaps
It’s like unrolling a sleeping bag over myself
like those cats that get stuck in tube socks
I’d ponder something more graceful
but I feel clumsy
Where words get chewed instead of
swallowed
o b l i t e r a t e d 
Masticating syllables by the mouthful
Who needs to conform and please
syntax, anyway?
Well, I do 
but my mouth doesn’t wish to cooperate 
s a b o t a g e
Vocals,
one hell of a mindfuck

Step one, two; reach beyond infinity

I wrote of unloving
it was unrealistic
The very day I decided I could do it
I found you had mined your way to the very core of me
tapped that gold vein deep
pick; axe, plectrum, in hand
to the cavernous space 
I call my heart
Assumed pitch darkness is warded from here
by the fireflies which plague me
Dimming when strangers go prowling
deceiving their eyes, leading them back to the outside world
Reality comes screaming 
into frame
And there I am
sitting cross legged 
where you’d never seen more feminine grace  
beside but not for prying 
I am a door ajar
Push my patina-ed handle
listen to the rust of me letting you in
grit your teeth at the sound of me
Explore far
explore wide
Reach your hand beyond cobweb curtains
to stroke the walls of me
break my boundaries
Here,
I beg you,
to love me

The PIN to my keycard is wrong

I’m finding that I have no choice but to learn to unlove

Such foreign concept

feels more wrong than 

severing a limb sans justification

Feels like losing a crucial part of myself

Feels amphibian 

damp 

cold 

Sun shouldn’t grace these bounds

You cannot pray to God here

Not selfless

just 

less self

more darkness

No more starlight kisses this glossy skin

There are no more moons

only infinite night 

in an infinite desert

plagued by less of me

and dehydration

I noticed my fingerprints are fading

and my ankles are giving out

unwilling to carry this dwindling load

where sleeping 

forevermore 

feels right

‘Vacation’ is the American word for ‘holiday’

Where I no longer need to imagine
lain nestled amongst patchwork quilts of tremendous 
mountains 
is home

Where happiness struck me with the first breeze
beyond the threshold of automatic airport doors
and souls as old as time embraced me
for the first time in my life
I felt at home

A place where 
laughter rang with more vibrance 
and coloured the rain when it stormed around us
I am convinced it was us that painted my front door yellow
and my linen blue
and my skin without makeup
It was you who undressed me with the most delicate touch
hands capable of violence 
eyes pitch black, windows wide open
to ensure the scale of me
I felt small beneath you
It was you who ran fingers over my body with hunger
but restrained himself 
while I lost my mind in atmosphere of you
and words tumbled free like children in a snowfield 

I shed my former skin in that shower
the very first day
When I washed the filth of 
recycled air and
recycled doubt 
from the very bones of me
As though I stepped behind the curtain
into scalding water
and scrubbed every inch of myself
with sharpened nails and a steel toothbrush
because you didn’t deserve to dine in squalor
and I didn’t deserve tainted skin

Where faith and incense enveloped me 
and I thought I may choke on kindness
amidst family and priceless smiles
I did yoga in the basement on the Fourth of July 
to avoid fainting 
Hypersensory
I heard every word from every mouth
every beat on every drum
every footfall, 
was precious 
This is where impending departure crushed me
and I lost a little light from my eyes 

Where my tears were wiped by you
and I saw conflict in the forests of you

Where tall men sat beside and held me

Where strong women cried in my arms

Where I gave myself as a parting gift
but still had to board the plane
is the place
I call
home