Why Did You?

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Although I am not one to succumb to hopeless prayer,
My breath still catches at the thought of your footfall on the stairs.
You’d tower over me as I lay, unknowing, asleep,
Trace fingers up my exposed arm, coming to rest upon my cheek.
At your touch I would stir, and when my eyes fell upon you,
I’d think myself still slumber deep, not believe it was you.
But now, there are only ghosts in what was once our bedroom.
Our pillows gather cobwebs, as though they pad chambered tomb.
You succumbed to the demons, and won’t wake from endless sleep.
You mistook death for a way out, labelled yourself as weak.
Why did I fail to notice how far you had gone off track?
I’d sacrifice all that I could, all that I have, if it would bring you back.
For there is nothing in this world that could embody you.
My night, my day, my dark, my light, please tell me: why did you?

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Marxalene

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She sits on a cold stone step.
Talking to herself because there’s no one else to hear.
Looking at a face in her compact that she doesn’t recognise, that no one sees –
And if no one sees, how could you ever disappear?
She wears a pink cable-knit sweater,
Tattered and frayed. Back to front, inside out.
But there’s no one there to tell her,
And no reason or occasion to care about.
She views the world behind pink-tinted sunglasses,
Bewildered eyes widening on all she sees.
When did she cease to belong here,
Why does her heart still lurch overseas?
She bites her fingernails down to the point of bleeding,
But there’s no one there to suggest that she stop.
What does it matter if they’re shredded raw?
He drained her dry of blood when he left. Every last drop.
Her passport says that she is Spanish,
And her words betray the same.
But her heart says she is not of this world,
Just his, to be reclaimed.

 

Not Yours

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When are you giving me back my sleep?
You keep me awake so late each night,
I watch the sky creep dark to light,
And it’s not yours to keep.

When are you giving me back my eyes?
I avoid mirrors for the fear
Of hating what I see in there,
And they’re not yours to make cry.

When are you giving me back my tongue?
It’s clamped down, pressed to roof in mouth
So words you don’t want to hear won’t come out.
It’s not yours to hold to ransom.

When are you giving me back my self?
If you won’t be what I know you could,
Don’t preach about what I should.
I’m not yours. I belong to me, no one else.

 

Trickster

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You can’t lick wounds when your tongue is rasping sandpaper.
And you can’t choke out words when there’s noxious sorrow in your throat.
This room has stood empty, abandoned here for an age,
And I am ghost animated, brought to life by cobwebs and dust mote.

Your words are like poisoned bolts through my heart and my stomach.
Embedded deep, prying a crack between my two truths.
The first, that clings blindly at your words like they are hand holds
On a rock face. The second, missing footing to stand on the back of your reproof.

To know you is to glimpse upon a somewhat different life,
An interpretation of me that’s much more than I have become.
But then you smile like trickster, twist the dagger through the ropes
On the bridge I am on. Severing me undone.

 

Umbrella

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Today I sheltered under an umbrella,
A shield raised against I miss yous and I want you backs.
Just one would have made my strained skin sizzle,
And in they’d crawl, as it bleeds and cracks.
It’s a little late now for pleasantries.
The empty words have carved and marked this track.
And there’s only one I miss you that I’d let through.
But it’s the one I will always lack.