Small accidents

The thing with this illness is that it wears me like a dress, parades around with me wrapped around its waist, forces my insides to squeeze into its elastic. It wears me like its favourite suit, especially when I’ve done my makeup or my hair isn’t right.

I’m black and bruised, fluttering about in a frenzy, its favourite court jester, its clown that skips to its beat, making itself look silly, feel silly, act silly.

I need to get out. I’m dying to quit posing as one of its outfits, desperately deafening cries from inside that never make it out my mouth. I’m paying more attention to this disease than the one that’s currently plaguing the world.

Tired and lonely

“Oh my god, other people struggle”

that’s what you hear them say

today it’s debilitating

so was yesterday’s pub visit

and Friday’s pool palava

enough tears to sink a ship

watching Blended with Drew Barrymore

and yearning for that family

my feelings are playing musical chairs

when it stops you hear the clap of arse cheeks

sit themselves down

and with no music to dance to

they twiddle their thumbs gingerly

Christ knows if the noise goes

the fear starts

leaps to attention

like some Nazi guard

the music can’t die down

else I’ll die with it

I stepped out to Londis and squirmed

teeth chattering

mind nattering the whole way

it’s cruel to live like you shouldn’t be here

and the crying is getting old now

I’m bored

wilting like a weed

I’d like to hit somebody

and really yell with my lungs

because I haven’t done that before

(except into my pillow)

and make them burst like two water balloons.

Sensible bodies

You used to make me feel like I couldn’t dress myself

Like every piece of clothing lurking in my wardrobe

Wasn’t fit for purpose

You swatted away every pairing I attempted

Frustration etched across your face, thick like butter

And marinating your tone

‘Of course that doesn’t go with that’

‘Gosh you’re useless’

‘Let me do it for you’

Choice escaped me, driving off

In a sedan car, roof open, wind tugging at carefree hair

Because no matter what I chose, you would berate me

Belittle me

Bemuse me

And suggest your idea was better

You made me feel like I couldn’t dress myself

Like every attempt I made was childlike

Like everything I picked when we went shopping

Was five years my junior

The result is a current questioning of everything I buy

From the t shirts to the shoes

To the dresses to the playsuits

I feel incapable of dressing myself

And knowing what looks good

Even when parcels from far-flung places arrive at the door

And I unwrap exasperated, excited

There’s something I’ve ordered that you dislike

And you’ll tell me, naturally

Why keep quiet after all these years

Why stop licking the nettle

Why stop hammering at my self-esteem

I can deal with the bile, the upchuck, the name-calling

Better than I used to

But it still stings like chlorine

And lingers like burnt toast

Gurgling in the pit of my stomach

Until the next parcel arrives.

The day I got pummelled by a wave 

The waves crash around my ankles in a desperate display of purple fury
Each and every one poised for a destructive landing

A very violet sandstorm. 

Wading in to be whipped, my body tenses

Feet tapping and drifting away from the ocean’s disgruntled bed

One of them finds me, sizes me up, and then punches my body with its crackling foam

Knocked onto the sand, bikini bursts and breasts fall open 

I bounce from grain to grain, submerged and breathless, au bout de souffle, 

Steadying myself, my feet fight with the monstrous current

Metres from the shore feels like miles.

Boob readjusted, wedgie loosened, the sea retreats and oxygen invades

I stumble out of the deathly surf like a drunken banshee woman

Withering like a rose, wobbling like jelly.