When light was invented.

Back when light was invented, in a shower of recycled hearts and borrowed time,

I was an expert at hide and seek

And you were a spotlight.


You, a force – eyes as sharp as stars,

You were never bothered when I stayed inside my own head for days.

You simply sat on my walls

And refused to go unloved,

Your mind taking bites out of the world, with no concept of what it is to be full.


I knew that you needed my quiet.

And every so often, you let me knit you a nest from my fingertips,

To cradle your mind like a quaking bird.


You knew that I needed your pace –

Moving ideas into action, helping me catch alight.

You are all the colours of earth and fire

While I am just water and air.


But you will never know all the words I have written for you,

About how you pick the world apart and sew it back together a million times a day.

About how I feel safe in the way you’re always burning, in the way you strike like a flint.


Say you’ll find me when we’re gone.

Even if there is nothing more

Than just your particles, lying alongside my particles in the dust.

Say, even then, that we will still stir each other

From the sleep of life.





Like children we bathed in the warmth of our foreverness,

Willing the world to wait.


I would sink into your songs and vanish

Into body temperature words.


Learning where all the pieces would go

We were building our bodies together for ‘one day’;

Zipping together our crystallising spines,

A pillar from which our love could decay.


Somewhere along the way, I forgot to remember you.


Silence is a voice

Often unheard

Sharper than words,

And it will push your promises until they break.


Watching where all the pieces fell

We were tearing our bodies apart for ‘one day’;

Crumbling between our fingers the crystallising spines,

A pillar from which our love died away.


Like the elderly we bathe in the cold of our foreverness,

Willing the world to move on.

Too Many Times

Many a night spent by your side

After you wrung your love out in another’s hands.


Many a night, the heat was there

But the ground would still shift like sand.


Too many times

You rolled me between your fingers

And watched me melt like rain.


Too many times

You swallowed my centre;

Left a hollow more wretched than pain.


Didn’t you hear me

Knocking on your rib cage, desperate to find you within?


Didn’t you see me

Growing up the walls, trailing vines to catch you in?


Too many times

You held me at arm’s length

But still you kept me near.


Too many times

We try to choose love

But instead turn back to fear.


You’re a worm in my mind, eating up what’s inside,

Planting threads that lead back to the knot in my life.


In those days, my heart was a lantern. Charged by a new kind of thrill.

Your touch, it was well-rehearsed

And I, well I was young

And I’m still sorry that I didn’t say no.


I let you

I let you lay your dreams over my dreams,

Until no air could get to mine;

And with your hand around my hope

I only learnt to choke.


But your arm around me in the night was an anchor.

Where time got thin, we poked our fingers straight through –

Swapping stories like secrets whispered by children.

Only none of yours were true.


And I, I gave it all, I let all the doors close.

For you offered safety in regret

With only one path left.


And more, more was lost than you could ever give,

Leaving me a life that nobody could live.



You had me sold that you were a breath of fresh air,

But with your hand around my hope

All I could do was choke.




Until after us

I thought I would always spread so easily and so thin that everyone could look straight through.

You showed me the sound of two eyes opening,

Helped me find a way to hold my hands without feeling ashamed.


But you were just baby teeth, and I couldn’t hold on to you;

Though I tried, for a time.


I walked away first,

And I learnt the sound a man makes when he shatters,

And I left the pieces for someone else to clean up.


I left with room for bigger and sharper lessons

And no way to protect myself from them,


And I burnt every piece I had left of you

In the ritual pyre of the first break,

Of the first ache.

Did not think to keep even one.

And I will always wonder why I did that,

And I will sometimes wish that I hadn’t.


And the one who came after you was too proud, with eyes that roamed

Too far,

And too greedily he tried to fill the spaces you had left

No care for fragile edges.


And too soon he ripped the pieces away again, from the spaces they would never fit,

The spaces shaped like you –

Too soft and unready for new.

We never got past the spark.

We never got past each other.

Centimetres apart

Eyes meeting in the dark,

Breath soaking into one another.


We never got past the spark.


We never got past unreal.

Past the silent worship

To letting the truths cool in one another’s ashes,

Blinked from my eyes

Still can’t dig you out.


We never got past the doubt.


I never got past your smile.

Past the hands that could melt the anger,

But still couldn’t make me stay.


And maybe we both know that somewhere

Another me would sit within your heart,


But we never got past the spark.


I was the sky, You were the land, and She was the sea.

You were the land sat alongside the water

And I, an intangible sky;

Though for you, I did try.


Air gives words the power to caress or to scold,

But what good is a voice with no hands to hold?


And I never looked down at you, darling.

I was only trying to find

The things that you kept hidden,

Things I could not keep inside.


You said there are two types of cold –

The cold of distance, and the cold of force.

In the end, I guess it was action that you were looking for.


And she was forever beating down your door,

Hard to ignore

The weight of a body thrown against yours.


Know that I could have loved you from a distance.

That would have been enough for me.


But she danced around your edges; she could touch you where I could not reach.

And you pushed and you pulled at each other

Like the waves crashing over the beach.


I watched you dissolve into her arms

As she kissed the pebbles at your feet – skin speckled like glitter and dust,

And I knew that could never be us.


But love has always held my eyes open,

Could not turn me from what I can see.

And just often enough for it to matter

You still turn your face up to me.