In what ways can I pull
My body so it feels like me?
What does it feel like
And breathe something that’s you?
I keep thinking that some day
I’ll look in the mirror
And they’ll smile back
A seeing smile
A connected smile
Between what’s in the head
And the heart
And the flesh
Not this tentative, unsure curl of the lips
An up curl, or a down? Or both?
Which category is mine
Is there such a thing that holds me?
I guess I should be flattered. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, they say.
Let me get the record straight though.
I was not around when you started dating him. It was well and truly over by the time you both started seeing each other. That is no word of a lie. I am not a character in your romantic fiction, so remove me from that story. It offends me that you’d use me as some sort of dramatic plot device.
I can see that you are a collector. But you are collecting things that are not yours and things that were not easily won.
I’m not an owner of these people, places or vocations, but it disturbs me greatly that you’re cultivating the very elements that make me, me.
I’ve encouraged you to write about your sexual assault, your mental health struggles, your bisexuality, your work and writing. I’m not a gatekeeper – it just feels convenient that these come to light a day or two after I’ve shared my own.
If you’re looking for a path travelled and cleared; one that works and ends in success, this aint it.
What are those? he asked, tracing the purple streaks on my hips.
Stretch marks, I said, a blush filling my cheeks.
He sensed my shame and he kissed those streaks and said he loved them, just like he loved the rest of my body.
It wasn’t contrived like you’d expect. It was exactly what I needed; what I thought I’d asked for from him but never received.
I was grateful he’d never answered Polo when I’d called Marco in the past. He instead gave what he wanted to give in that moment.
That made it all the more real and precious.
I think I called your bluff. Your bluff that said you’d have me back in an instant, in your bed, if only I were there, if only I said yes. Despite your girlfriend.
I think I called your bluff. The promise you’d hinted at for years, that wasn’t ever acted upon because you knew I had principles that meant I’d never put you – or her – in that position. The promise that wasn’t real because you’d never have to choose between right and wrong, because you knew I’d do it for you, so you didn’t have to.
I think I called your bluff. My principles don’t extend to being responsible for your behaviour – anymore. I’m responsible for mine and you need to own yours.
I wonder now, if that was what you found attractive in me in the first place. If that was why we’ve said I miss you and I love you and I want you regularly over the past years. Because fantasies don’t ask you to take responsibility.
One night you held me so tightly that I noticed how much I shook in your arms. I wondered how many times before then I’d spoken my truth in your bed and shook without those arms wrapped around me. I wondered what compelled the strength you had to hold me close this time when you hadn’t before. All the other times there was a vast, cold gulf of air between us and I was mistaken about my composure and confidence because I hadn’t noticed my body’s reaction.
What I wouldn’t give to be held like that, right now. Seen like that. What I wouldn’t give to feel like everything was going to be ok, because someone could see how I struggle even when I don’t.
I had a chat with a friend who is dating her partner for the second time round. I wanted to know why people choose to date someone more than once. What makes it different the second time and how do you make it work when it hasn’t before? Turns out they’re doing something right: they’ve recently gotten engaged ❤
He had his card out on the bench, ready to pay for our drinks and sushi dinner. I swooped in and put my phone onto the machine before he could. It was a really lovely date and I hoped he wanted to see me again, too.
I don’t like the presumption that he has to buy me dinner for a number of reasons. Mostly I feel there’s an unspoken agreement that I owe him if he does. No-one would say that out loud, but I feel it and maybe he does too. He is not entitled to anything and I want to remove any chance this could be misconstrued.
We went home to my place and we laughed about stupid shit and ended up naked, as you do, kissing and touching. I have no problem getting intimate with someone I have only just met. If two people are down to get down, I don’t see the point in those rules about waiting for the third date. That seems like a game I have no interest in playing.
We texted, for a few days and it was fun and it was easy and he told me I was beautiful. He told me I was intriguing and I’d had an affect on him. I am usually dubious of expressions such as these, especially soon after meeting. It was nice though. To be talked to in that way and to be told that I was lovely and wanted. I felt attractive. I believed him.
I didn’t hear from him for a few days and that was confusing. I resisted the urge to text him and ask if he’d died and needed me to avenge his death. I told myself that he was probably busy and that was fine.
After three days, like Jesus, he rose again. His tone via text was clinical and distant and I was confused. I thought maybe I was reading into it too much. He came around and did some handy jobs around the house like he said he would. We hugged and he said it was good to see me. He kept me at a distance. He left and there was no kiss.
I felt anger more than confusion at his withdrawal. I felt we’d crossed a distance and become close and I deserved more than I was getting.
I wondered whether my falling into bed with him on the first night was my paying for dinner.
It could have been the wind, that possessed your hair. It could have been the sun, that coloured your cheeks. It could have been the sand that made your toes curl.
But I like to think it was me that affected you.
When you’re scared you run away
When I’m scared I clarify
Imagine what we’d be
if we weren’t scared
I am no-one’s secret, lover
I am a prize, just as you are
As I hope I showed you
I don’t only exist in the dark
when you need an ear, a cuddle, or to come.
I’ve needs and thoughts and I hoped you cared
enough to see them in the light, too
I just wanted you to hold my hand in the street
where people would see us
because I am no-one’s secret lover