(Note: This poem was written and rewritten over the course of one month. I didn’t want to write it, and then I wanted to write it, and then I thought it was too much or not enough. But I think some things can only be said in the form of a poem.)
The truth was waiting there, in the angles
of shadows, in the razor blade I didn’t throw away,
but hid. In the cupboard. In all things blue.
That night, I said to myself: you can be honest today.
You feel this, and everyone knows –
you always put your heart on the shelf.
You want to hurt the hurting, but it just
doesn’t work. Look,
I don’t know
what this life is all about. But I want to drink it up.
Want to put it to my lips like a lover would.
I’ve been on my knees all night, and it’s a prayer
I remember. God wants me to beg
when we’re sitting together in the bathroom,
under all the bright lights. And I’m on the floor,
and it’s late, and the cupboard wants to be opened.
He calls me by a name I don’t recognise,
with his hands in my hair.
Me, an ocean
covered in ash. A lungful of lost air.
A hot sinner in a cupboard, like an oven for my head.
Waiting for the tiles to cool my body down
with an ear to the ground. Looking for a light switch?
Looking for a demon? Left wrist
still clean. Body left untouched.
An oven, an oven. Honey on my lips.
I remember this. I remember this, I lived here.
I think again, of highways. Mid-morning heat.
A world drenched in a syrup of longing.
I make myself lonely. I burned all these bridges.
I come back to it every time, the only home I know.
There’s a knocking on my ribcage,
and it’s my own hand, it’s my own knife,
it is the house I built for myself
and every room is empty.