Fourth Boyfriend, Five Times

We don’t get it right, despite tries, texts to ask, “Are you up?” then no follow-through.

Every possibility I could have had, that there was, I picture. Fruit basket them. And decide which I’d have now if I skinned them. Peeled.

Jack reappears five times in four years, somewhat nonchalantly. He doesn’t feel it but knows that I did and thought that I still, so each afternoon was an exquisite excuse-whip, denial-blend, of got-it-wrongs and not-nows.

And there were two post-scripts I’d rather not pitch. My fruit basket’s a balance and each is ready to mulch in their own clothes.

So I married Ryan Reynolds.

I Imagine You Are Home

I’m an uneasy clasp and you’re a herb-avoider, and we’re an unlikely pair and we’re respective losses, respect each other’s losses, because we’ve accidentally left precious organs and keepsakes and cash in carrier bags which people mistook for trash and the reluctance to touch tongues is a high-school seventh heaven humiliation in a full changing room of half-dressed girls coaxed to strip by gym teachers who understand hierarchies better than history teachers. They paid their way through college with a retail-job-string, know that sentences are misleading, that there’s no greater nihilism than high-street fashion, and once you’ve sold a sweat shop jumper to somebody’s husband, there’s only one other challenge and that’s a simple button path to a treasure spot on a map Emma drew at 12 when she said, “Fuck people so they like you.” But it never worked for her really. And I’m a nervous undresser, and I imagine one day you’ll be a George Clooney-type, in your own entirely, and I’ll sew curtain hems until the fabric fits windows perfectly. I’m the girl that once seemed more than her worth; a cup of rice feeding a village for 20 cents.


I will creep age, lines cut in my face.

You, in footage from the fifties, have the same haircut.

I ask what you are, like a one word answer is exonerating.

But science lessons are thermometer stunts, work surface smashes.

You taste like mulberry, silt, leather, and Turkish Delight.


And if I want saving, remind me each salvation promise, the Santa revelation of it.

If there’s a man up for it, men, groups, who can wrought-iron melt or understand the strength in hair strands, then round them. Auction me for end points.

When you window seek me, imagine airbrushed portraits; you’ve never felt a leg horse-taut.

I’m the colour of the swallowed. Trepidation twelve year.

Neck Ache

I will navigate the after with the caution of George after marriage: flippantly. Like I know there’s no forever anymore. And I’ll take a neck rub, leg rub, clit, and if your lip bleeds I’ll lick the cut and flesh and you’ll whisper, “You’re one of them now,” and you’ll list every thing you’ve skinned to remind me you understand insides better than Jack did, your navigation’s a notch above Columbus: if we had maps you’d place us.

Promiseless, Bible-burnt, camp bed pews, you gut me from the knees up, each ricocheted bone a muscular clue. Men scream, “Amen,” in other rooms, get hushed by men, watch men, other men, as I spill. I’m a crossbow left hand squeeze, and in clockless, washless time you’re a measured fit. Your tongue is nettle stung and my thigh tops carry your name now.

Beauty and the Beat

Of the things I shouldn’t see, this is a low vote, hanging score, because I’ve watched men ejaculating into milk bottles which I thought were museum relics we’d soon admire. Once, a promised laugh meant pegged balls and suspenders. You’re lucky the visual you have is imagined; like an unreleased film, replay’s less likely.

So this, I’ll forget by 2015, quicker than the rim of Ben’s mouth, the pockets of John’s duffel, webs of Timothy’s toes. Sooner than Justin Beiber’s forgotten; his is a ‘fake your own footage stolen’ fade that’ll pain a girl less until 2080.