I’ve been thinking and thinking
About the cold that seeps under the covers;
smiles and lit eyes,
devoted lips and breath,
yet I find you colluding with the shadows above my bed,
whispers rippling around walls with
your face buried in your hands.
I can smell a sudden whiff
of intimacy, laid bare,
sprawled before my uncovered legs.
I’ll never forget your soft face,
a warm candle glow casting the
shadows of an infuriated
beneath your soft skin.
A flicker of light,
a caught breath,
tight jaw and stiff back,
dearest, you turned away from
my scared face.
I remained a scared slave
sleeping beside the man I love.
Feeling my chest give out, heaving
sour, soiled breaths,
panting at the fading ceiling for warmth.
My bones chilled;
preventing tears from meeting my skin;
a captured bird shedding feathers
out of season.
the night was cold.
I had the night slashing,
searing scrapes and tattooed bruises
greeting me in the early hours.
Slipping silently to hide and hope and
rattle around my brain,
the nightmares of a distance growing larger,
of a hallway stretching a walk into decades;
of the sticky thorns embedding when I decide no
and the dirty fall I receive, fall from your grace,
fall from your respect, fall from your opinion,
fall from your favour.
You all leave when you
don’t feel the attention that you want.
And you speak iciness when you
your things and leave
saying softly it’s all
Be a soldier;
mind your tongue;
watch your movements;
slide your hand back there
and your lips over here.
Don’t pull away;
don’t pull off;
keep your allure;
don’t say no, always say yes.
Feel the post-traumatic stress,
licking your legs and bashing your skull.
Walk away and feel the shame,
the bitterness, the disappointment.
Walk away greasy in guilt,
the guilt I can’t help but feel all over,
guilt you rest on my shoulders,
I want to see the horizon,
but I feel I never can.
I’m busy keeping my eyes from
going cloudy and falling into
the same holes.
Float atop an iceberg,
not drown beneath it.
the world is teaching me that saying no
can be a crime.
Punished when giving over a yes,
to the fatally wrong man;
equally punished when I’m confused,
and unintentionally ignore the right one.
Be a soldier;
mind your tongue;
watch your movements,
and maybe you aren’t entitled to speak a no,
maybe for the sake of saving you harsh wounds,
silent pains and endless fears,
maybe the only sound and symbol
you make with your naked limbs,
should be yes.
Dearest, you are
the man I’ll never have the
heart to disappoint,
I’ll never have the heart to ever
The man I love more than seeing stars;
and yet you like to show me that I do
I do disappoint you often.
And so I spend my night,
drawing ink into the only explanation
I can give.
Remember my sad lullabies?
Remember the yes-es of this world,
I gave so freely;
I can only say I’m sorry dearest,
for how petrified I am.
Of being screamed at that I
can make no sense;
that’s it’s just months of all the same;
If I’d played the soldier long ago,
learnt to watch my feet,
learnt to equally fight and yield,
maybe I wouldn’t have to
over doing wrong in your eyes.
If I’d said yes the times I whispered no,
I wouldn’t have to hang myself upon this peg.
I wouldn’t have to cry.
I wouldn’t have to lose you somewhere in the cold night,
when the shadows play across your mind;
where the ceiling fades.
I wouldn’t have to fear myself.
I wouldn’t have to fear you building regret or
towards loving me.
For all the times I weep and
all the times
I apologise for myself
and all the times
I make mountains as obstacles for us through anxiety.
I’ll be here in the morning when you wake,
will you? xxx
– Artwork by Elisa Bertaglia “Water and Swimmer”