unless you were there

you wouldn’t know unless you were there. i’ll never be able to explain the hatred, twisting and building up a nest in my ribcage. i promise, i’ve tried my best to get rid of it. i tried to tie it up with a ribbon, tried to root out the weeds from the garden of my heart. but there’s dirt under my fingernails, and sweat dripping down my back, and i think it might be to stop trying to save the needle in the haystack. i’ve been bitter from the start. so i stuffed my purse full of chocolates and i ate that shit whole. you wouldn’t know unless you were there, your heart pounding as you stared out over the sea, wishing you could run forever. wishing for anything to hold. you wouldn’t feel it in your gut, you wouldn’t churn with its flow. wishing to crumble like an empire, and let someone better pick through whatever might remain. i wanted to watch this fall apart from a million miles away. wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps, which is really just to say: i know what happens next, and i am not afraid.


I’m super proud of this piece, and I’m planning to submit it to a literary journal, so it’s gone through some really heavy editing. If I do say so myself, the last line is perfect, but the middle I’m not quite sure about.

the bog

i have sat in the bog

felt the water turn my skin pink and shrivelled, like a raisin

the mud dripping down my throat and into my stomach

god, it weighs me down

i have sat in the bog

until the peat-moss is caked into my hair

until rock-bottom started to droop under my weight

maybe i deserve it

maybe it’s preventative

maybe i should just close my eyes, and stay here

and feel the time pass

i could pick apart my skin

i could pull out my hair, strand by strand

i could get lost in these parts and never come back

yeah, ‘cause maybe

i wouldn’t hate myself so much

with a different face

or a better heart

if i tried my very best to get it right the first try

tried until there’s nothing else to say

i have sat in the bog and seen my fate

in the leech-infested waters

thrown myself a pity party

forgot to mail out invites

and left the candles on the cake unlit;

it didn’t really work out anyway

i don’t even know how to do that bit

so maybe i will cry myself a river

and the current will keep me company

and that’s something that i will never do wrong

it will carve apologies into my aching arms

until they’re really just bone

and all those words i’ve never said

trace a path forward out along the riverbank

the clay beneath my fingertips

draw it out like the branching path of an ancient tree

burnt and flawed and broken

and still reaching for the sun


I tend to really ruminate on things, and wrote this at a time when I was: you guessed it! Ruminating! Um, yeah, I actually really like how this piece turned out, I think it’s really cool.

red sun

there’s blood on the curtains / blood under my fingers / and blood on the floor / there’s a mess on the carpet / and a list of things i’ll never get done / pinned up on the door / there’s a hole in the wall / and eight / and maybe i’ll get to them someday / but it’s sure not happening soon / cause today / i’ve got a busy schedule of crumbling myself like pastry to the floor / until there’s nothing left / but blood on my shirt / blood on the sheets / blood on the floor / and i collapse, exhausted / 12am exactly / wake up at 8, push through smoke and haze / like curtains, maybe / if you think about it right / but no matter how far i run, i always come back for more / drill the familiar rhythms into bloodshot eyes and sunburnt skin / it’s been a long summer of fighting / wading through fields of thigh-high grasses / dried up and old / hopping over burnt-down tree stumps / and falling down the rabbit hole

forgiveness

i close my eyes on the walk home, warm may breeze brushing its fingers through my hair, and gently closing my eyes. but that’s all right. because i’ve still got half a coffee to finish, and nothing left to do this afternoon. it tastes so sweet i want to cry.

wrapping me up in its arms like forgiveness, sea-salt and caramel melting on my lips. and even though it’s over now, it’s i’ll still trace the lines of scars on my skin; spend whole afternoons learning to copy them out by memory.

and what do you do, when every drop of nostalgia is poisoned with spindle-sharp cotton candy? when every embrace takes you back to grass-stained jeans all alone? ’cause i don’t have a fucking clue. but maybe that’s okay.

i’ll sit in my ignorance, like a cheap blow-up pool. i’ll cut my hair, i’ll make a friendship bracelet. i’ll take off my shoes, and wade in the water until i get cold.

i’ll hold your hand for just a moment, before it overwhelms me. i’m not used to being loved this way, rosewater and malt. i’m still learning to be soft, to let i love yous flow freely off my tongue.

and it tastes like sunscreen and sweat, as i press my lips to the back of my palm. but that’s okay. ’cause the blood will dry, and the scars will sink in. i think i’ll mount them in the portrait hall, and tell the world that i have slayed my dragon, for once and for all. i’ll take my victory forgranted for one more afternoon, and doesn’t that sound perfect?


So, this is very self-indulgent, but it’s finally warming up here, I wore shorts for the first time this year a few days ago, and I’m allowed to be ridiculously self-indulgent from time to time. Humour me.

In all seriousness, I’m constantly trying to give myself permission to write happy poems–not just the depressing ones. I don’t know, sometimes you just need to romanticize the little things in your life, and pretend you’re the protagonist in an animated movie, and I think there are far worse coping mechanisms in the world. So, I don’t know, go out there and like whatever the hell you want to! Have a good time! Be creative! I don’t know, it’s really late at night and I’m in a weirdly good mood, if I could shower the world in flower petals I absolutely would.

Lots of love,

Lorna

shift

the quiet corridors creak and shift, with the weight of ghosts unseen. but it’s not a haunted house, not really. just awkward, tiptoeing silence, and cold leftovers for dinner. dim blue light, baptizing the room in its glow.

and yeah, i’m sure it’s a great use of my time to watch tik toks on my computer until my eyes glaze over, playing audio from three different sources, until it all just fades to static. but at least i don’t have to sit in my head any longer.

feel its murky stench, pressing close like sewage against my skin. its scar-lined passageways, and scuffed floorboards. but now all i’ve got are goosebumps and bone. ’cause my friends are gone. the party’s over.

and all i’ve got to show for it is plates in the sink, and a to-do list scribbled on my palm. but the portrait halls never did tell the truth, and when i look into their eyes, all i can see is what i could have been. a thousand shortcomings, and skills it seems i’ll never grasp.

’cause i wanna roll down the hill, snow wrapping my bones like a blanket. even if you should have been there with me. i’m obsessed with the way the sky swirls like milk in coffee. and for a moment, i’m too caught up gasping for breath to worry.