Over and out

I guess we grew like weathered flowers

And I guess I grew a little bit taller

A little bit faster

A little bit more soaked in your potion

Than you were in mine.

And it sometimes hurts to know you’re not that bothered

And other times it angers to know this was only for a season

Little did I know the season would sizzle

But be short lived

And little did I know it wasn’t quite going to work

Past the months of bronzing and barbecuing.

And I gave a piece of myself to you

Opened my doors wide and beckoned you in

And I’m glad I did

Despite the attachment I formed

Like an octopus clinging to your legs

Suckling on your teet

Stuck to your words which you threw so spaghetti like at my walls

They stayed there stuck

(They still are now)

A reminder of what’s possible

And what may be better than you.


I nearly bit my tongue off

When you asked me questions

Of no meaning, no substance

Forced like unwanted suggestions

About where to eat, what to do

How to travel, when to move

Staring over the barrel of a deceased coca cola

Eyes ploughing into me like needles

My responses grew weary and feeble

Conversation like too much hard work

From the very start

And tiptoing into the twilight hours

A train ride that should have been hushed

A meal that made me blush

A sentence too many that was more than enough

How can I stand to be me

When a day out is just pain

And I’m the only one to blame

My ineptitudes, my shortcomings

My overactive brain

With its excruciating bubblings.

When you realise he’s maybe just not that into you and everything slows to a snail’s pace and you start tearing your hair out and balling your eyes out.

The journey has come to a screeching halt

From pedal to floor

I heard its thunderous roar

As it stopped dead in its tracks.

Panic ensued

Anxiety came

Asking myself “what is this game?”

Because we’ve started shuffling cards, dealing hands

And I’m no longer chugging along sands

Of limp, moth-eaten metal

No carriage to rest or settle

Just an abrupt shove into a passerby

Flung from my seat with emotions awry

Buckle up babe it’s going to be a bumpy ride

From here on out

With this particular duvet-lipped guy.

When I realised I’d fallen

As we rolled past the river

The monuments

The gold-clad beasts

Shaking, bathing in the glow

Of the water’s edge by Waterloo

Your duvet lips spring to mind

Permeate the creases of my brain

Invade my thoughts with a pick axe

Cutting down the others

I’d been growing

Like sweet nectar.

I melt beneath them

Chew on their plumpness

Get high on their juices

Those rolls that seal me

Like an envelope

Your loveliness cuts through

And bubbles beneath the surface

As the train tracks roll by.

I think of you when the night curses

And the day yawns open

And when my phone buzzes

And my body yearns to be touched.


You’re bright and flexible

like a glow stick

how strange it is

to be enjoying the journey

the part most people want to skip

the part people lose their heads about


screaming thoughts into pillows

spilling questions into Reddit’s holes

– not me

and yet today marks the first day

we haven’t texted

in more than a month

we’ve been on this cycle

like a haunted washing machine

since the day you added my number

– this spin cycle didn’t feel like

it was going to end

but it has

and now i’ve only to hang out

the clothes to dry

let the moisture evaporate

like piss on a hot tin roof

strip back the fabrics

until they’re mere fibres.

Assessing the damage

– could i be doing it

for the chase?

might i have refrained from messaging

because i have nothing to say

– could it be a test?

or maybe you’re on a date

and maybe i’m on a date

and we’re both rocking

on somebody else’s genitals

(i’m not. i’m in my pyjamas

banned from the living room

hiding from stranger things spoilers)

you: probably reading or running

or wondering about me

– not feeling like chasing?

that’s fine.

i remind myself i’ve given away

a part of me to you

provided you with a swipe card

chipped off a chunk of my soul

and my body and handed it

to you like a piece of late homework

the lucky recipient of a quivering

maladjusted morsel of a girl

who doesn’t receive many guests

who is open for business once a year

whose tectonic plates rumble daily

(but rumbled by themselves

never shaken by another)

you have a small part of me

which i hardly ever give out

like those rarest of pokemon

those rare droplets of rain on Gran Canaria

those times my great uncle

digs a hand in his pocket

and buys us a meal

those moments on the tube

when i feel sweat-free

those days when i can actually

look at myself in the mirror

without wincing

and so it’s not to be sneezed at

this gifting malarkey

but i’m happy with my recipient

this tadpole i plucked

from the dating pool lucky dip

– i’m happy with my choice

even if it ends poorly

and leaves my heart sore

(or soar?)

because semantics make quite a difference.













Like someone reading your diary

Touching your thoughts with a scalpel

Splitting them open and letting the innards glow freely

Beneath the blade.

Like someone knowing your darkest secrets

Most troubling defects

And personality problems, character flaws.

Like someone scraping out the inside of your head like a coconut

Amassing all these troubles, all these woes

And picking at your skull like a vulture.

Like someone who read your poetry.


I thought of that cup

The one I bought from Ikea, all greenly gold and new

The one I drank my morning brew in

The one that saw coffee swish within its China skeleton

Like a dinghy at water park.

My lips fat and swallowing, teeth chinking against the sides

It took us months to get through that giant bag of Costco coffee

The beans floated to the top, never ending

And everyday I’d start my morning with that pastel green cup

Finger my iPad

And wriggle my way into consciousness.

Father of mine…

Today was the first time I spoke to you

in four long years.

She foisted her phone into my beating hands

like a pusher pushing pills at a party

and I swallowed all my awkwardness

until it perched on my stomach’s seabed

and breathed a gobsmacked “hello” to my estranged father.

Flitting between fond memories

(all six of them)

and chucklesome banter

(that isn’t so chucklesome)

I laugh and I giggle and I smile and she pipes in beside me

content to be our relationship’s catalyst.

You’re away, frittering about in some far-flung country

where business is rife and you’re free from the stench of failure

failure at being a dad, a husband and a friend.

You tell me you’ll be back soon

like a perpetual Schwarzenegger, the phrase has been on a loop

in my head for the best part of a decade

so you shouldn’t expect a homecoming party anytime soon

because soon is a very long time

for such a short word.

Island dreams, coconut groves

I knew it was going to hurt.

Like a severed limb, cut off, bleeding

it was always going to have an unsavoury feeling.

The amputation was set in motion back in January

when I told you I didn’t love you


and we ran circles around our words

had muffled conversations in burger bars

and pressed our palms together in desperate solidarity

and then we waited.

The operation commenced in the month of May

when we went our separate ways

left with bloody stumps, the both of us

our bandages were cherry-red and ached

we knew it would take time to heal.

What I didn’t bargain for was the loss of two limbs

– one for you and one for the country we’d lived in

that sun-dappled, banana breeding ground closer to Africa than Europe

which I would moan about and rant about to reluctant relatives

who told me “just come home”

and now I miss that platano-infested wasteland

of orange-gold hills clad in the sun’s rays

ugly, Arizona-esque but comforting all the same.

We left our flat and burned our bridges

and ripped out our relationship’s stitches

left your handy, hopeful car

tucked away behind a few bushes by the airport

and made a dash for it, a dash towards the unknown.

These bloody stumps may never heal

because I loved you and our life

and now I’ve broken the seal.