Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.You taught me how to drink that night.(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)-Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.(You
A Little Bit of WonderlandHer name was Alyssa, and when she was nine, her mother built her Wonderland. After being raised on a healthy diet of Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and J.M. Barrie, it seemed like the natural course of action. She created it out of paper, each scene indispensably, indisputably perfect in its imperfection.And she did it because Alyssa was terrified of the idea of falling through a rabbit hole, into a place that allows magic only when you are confused. Mothers do the most impractical, exhausting things to show how much they love their children. It seemed a pity that it was this very effort that kept Alyssa up all night, staring at the paper people like they were coming to get her.(If Alyssa’s mother knew, she would have spent all her time trying to explain to the little girl that it wasn’t just paper people she should be afraid of.)-God appeared to have a sense of humour when little Alice became Alyssa’s best friend. She lives across the street, her hair always
You call it Judgement, We call it SinEmily needs the words to understand that she isn't being unreasonable. She just wants them to mean something and not be a string of words which flows into itself over and over again.She doesn't like her name either. Not because Emily isn't a pretty name but because she would rather be called something she feels like. (She has never quite forgiven her parents for choosing her name for her.) If she could, she would call herself Glass, because that is what she wakes up feeling like every morning. As if crystallised pieces of glass are edible and her insides tingle as she swallows them whole.Emily lets the words call her names sometimes. She writes them on her knees so that she can remember them. Sometimes the words call her a whore, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes a loser and sometimes a tramp (She has never learnt that loving too much is a crime and boys with pretty eyes sometimes lie.). She sits in the bathroom with a pen the colour of blood and writes them carefully
Another Language called EnglishI took your adjectives for granted. There was something about the way you skipped over your 's'es and gleaned over your 'i's and 'e's, that never really made me want to kiss you. You'd sit there with your languid fingers clutching a book that was half finished, and read me words that were completely mispronounced. It would prickle me under my skin and I would grit my teeth, wondering when you would stop. I would never understand the english language you thought you spoke, and your confidence in your own words annoyed me.It was comical when you spoke in front of our friends. Your mistaken pronunciation of the word 'pronunciation' in particular made them giggle. I would stand in a corner, clutching a glass of rum and coke and cringe, flushing in second hand embarrassment. You would smile at me from across the room, and continue with your tangled tongue as though nothing was wrong.I felt sorry for you. But not sorry enough when you took your favourite writing pen from my d
About Honour"Ever worried about what the world thought of you?""Nope. I only worry about what I think of me.""What do you think about you?""That I am a broken-eyed, converse-reject-wearing wise ass.""Really? And what do you call yourself?""I call me proud.""Oh.""What do you call yourself?""I am the grade school version of the heartbroken girl, who can't play the guitar so she strums a ukulele instead, who can't paint so she draws terrible pictures in graphite that keeps giving way.""I see you doing it again. Put the fucking pen down right now and stop it.""Stop what?""Doing that.""What? I was just writin-""You're cutting yourself to pieces with shark-toothed words again. Just because a sword is a beautiful, glittering object of honour doesn't mean it always has an honorable purpose.""Do you really think I am a sword?""Nope. I think you're beautiful, glittering object of honour. And the thing with honour is, it makes the world turn to stare in awe."
Forever NeverlandGrace disliked Tinkerbell. She disliked her because she had wings and she could fly whereas Grace stayed on the ground, catching fireflies. The fireflies, in turn, made it easy because they knew she would let them go. She would stare at their radiant light in awe and try to understand how something so little could shine so very bright.She tried to pretend the bread she had in the mornings was ice cream flavoured, and even imagined her little brother had never been taken from them but had been enthralled and forever lost in Neverland. When she tried to explain this to her mother, her mother would look away quietly, and sometimes, rise with a quiet shudder...and leave the room.For a little girl who had the hope of the world resting quite easily on her head as a crown, she knew. She knew that one day, he would come for her and maybe, maybe they could be together again like they were in her dreams.As she grew older, she slept on a bed of green, with a desk of wood and a massive window t
Hemingway Would Hate ThisThe trouble with the Boy was that he didn't have the heart of Shakespeare, the voice of Poe, nor the soul of Wordsworth, nor the knowledge of Rembrandt in his darkest days. He didn't have a trace of Michaelangelo's spirit nor the angst of Carvaggio and this on its own was enough to dissuade him from understanding that technique was far better than solidarity and possession far more ageless than youth.He didn't have any of this knowledge because his father hadn't had the courage to tell him that he needed all the qualities of these great men, to win over the heart of a woman who had the dreams of Austen, the ideas of Da Vinci and the scent of a high priestess of Venetian origin.The Girl was all those things and more, and her value, her estimate in the market of souls was higher than most. She was an angel amongst Gods, and He should never have let her go into the world thinking that it was Keats hearted. Because like all women who live their lives story shaped, she was soon broken by
Bones"There are good days and there are bad days," you would say to me as you would try and explain away why the whiskey bottle was empty again this morning, why you smelled like her and why you thought it was best to let me know what you had done. At least that way, you were absolved of the gift of lying; the one your bones were too light to lift and just couldn't take, by bestowing me with betrayal.My mother would bring me an encouraging cup of tea in a giant pink mug instead of a cup and explain, "There are good days and there are bad days." Her eyes were always full of positive energy and strength and good will. I look back to those days and try and gain the strength she had in her bones from her words. I always fail.They told me I had a disease within my bones. It started from the bottom of my knee and was moving upwards. Because that is what bones did. They broke from the inside out. "There will be good days and bad days," they warned me. I knew at that very point that it was going
Simple ThingI’d like to be an off-beatsyncopated little thing;note and stem floating on the melody, just sitting inappoggiatura, grace-note, special thing.I’d like to be a sailorswinging on the ocean windcoarse old rope between my hands and salt-spray where my toes beginnimble little sailor, clever thing.I’d like to be a bed-sheetgentle thing to warm your skinthing that you hug tighter when the morning starts to filter infalling through your creases, lucky thing.
'X' Marks The SpotI am a pirate,a ghost among the sunken shipof your treasure trove heart.Like the last bit of rum in the jug,I enjoy the way 'fuck' rolls off your tongue,as if you invented its meaning.I try to articulate that one syllable,match your way of speech-You've never needed to dress your words-dip them in ink or paint them in poetryupon the exotic map of my sun-kissed curves.I have drowned so many timesin the green sea of your eyesthat I am coughing up seaweed& weak bones.You tell me not to speak-that such words sound dirty on my tonguethat my spine is made for beautyand not for a bounty.But you, you are a plaguelight-years at seaand I am finding the oceanthrough seashells& salty siren lips.
Dear Poetry,You will find out that I am not a strong person. Dragons do not make a home beneath my skin to hoard their treasured princesses. I am not that lucky. For I have misplaced collarbones just as quickly as I’ve misplaced hearts, a pulse still rhythmic against my fingertips. I am a monster of words, devouring Cummings and Plath with no ounce of self control left in my body. I promised myself this weight would not fall for the sharp edges of stars ground into your knuckles. But, write air into my lungs, poetry. Give this wild thing a reason to learn the definition of tamed.Write me a poem, and I will promise to fall in love with you, slowly and then…all at once.