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.



Do not grow up

Grow in                  and out                                  and all around.

Try every route until your skin bursts with lives

A mosaic of all your existences.


Remember when we were children,

The ceiling lived so far away

Hiding all of the things our spirits could not wait to taste.


Do not be afraid

To pour your body in as many directions as there are perspectives;

Leave a fingerprint              on every surface,

                                              a memory in every mind.


There is a world inside of you

With a view from every angle,

Adventure behind every blink.


Do not give up

The only way to know which place is yours,

Is to have dipped a toe

Into each               and every                              one.




Hounds chase me down, whispering remember when’s.

Guilt runs a finger up my spine and I shape the memory of those words –

Words which stick and will not be forced into the open,

But my land still betrays the secret.


There is always half the battle left

‘Cause you’ve got a mind that could swallow up the sun.

When I was as lonely and as cold as the moon

You could always take me down.


Remember how I would crack my bones to accommodate you;

Let you sit within my ribcage for days.

Remember when I built you a shelter from my skin,

Remember how quickly I let you in.


Mountains sparkling with snow are so unforgiving up close

And all of our words are spoken. No matter how far I go


Shrapnel of you still resides in these wounds,

And we are just residue.