Was The World Really Built In Six Days?

Did you know a house can take years, six years, ’til it rafter-shoots? And you have no idea the kinds of loans and hands and toolbox riflers you require. You don’t get how much help that you’ll need.

I’ve watched homes sideways slip from cliffs as dad paid for our amusement tickets and he pointed to a cliff-top toilet and said, “Legend has it, the walls fell as someone sat there,” and our firework Thursday nights on wound paths, plank strung and cordoned off where pavement cracks made running tricky, then dangerous, were teetering, on the absolute edge of something: a county disintegrating in salt water, like digestives in luke-warm tea left long enough for the milk to gather a film on top of it. I’d say a skin, but that’s loaded.

Some of the park ended at other shores, sands, heads and hands cropping at the most unexpected of co-ordinates; the sorts of beaches ex-boyfriends picked for group outings, not picnics, because alone time’s a marriage-luxury. The cowboy fort lingered, intact ten feet down, closer to the water, but I didn’t have the guts to climb or abseil, to retread old ground I thought I’d get again. It was a low taunt, impossible forgetting.

And the earth wasn’t built in a day, a week or a month and any evidence suggesting otherwise you should run from like those park stories you’re told when small when shrubs can’t conceal you from strangers intent on taking you. If a scientist says they have facts suggesting a creation manifesto I’d ask who gave Gary Barlow the highlighting job, of picking people out incredulously who have credibility, and why faith exists in a world in which no one writes their autobiographies. And if we could scale history back, simply, in a calculation page or two, why we’d expect god before mistake; man and not dinosaur.


Holy Crap You’re Gorgeous

The papers have pictures of us but the ones on my phone, insured by your bank account, are precious like heirlooms I’m yet to inherit but the mere mention of them, the idea of an almost-get, is my brain tick before sleep, my morning nerve. And we’re a back-forth before we’re anything solid like a vow is solid and not just something someone says in a moment adjacent to ordering a hamburger.

We leave when sticky menus compromise manicures and I wouldn’t ask because periods don’t add up, of singleness, refinery, of the shoulds and who I am will never matter. In 2050 I’ll be a nice chest your grandmother once fantasised for and about when she was your age, when she was a little bit older than you.

I Was Dead When I Woke Up This Morning

Play. Don’t do right.

Tactics, rules, retaliate,

deductions and make heard.

Make it heard.


Once, spirit was a thing,

Coco Pop real

and I cherished skin tags

like design label lipstick.


Now, teams are numbers’ games

and I add up better than Duffy,

any of those super-good



Because 5 is better than 4

and 4 is better than 3

and, target, I eliminate you

when you’re 15, 5 or 50.


Mess with me, fuck, I’ll

obliterate you

and discerning language

about you winning. Chance.


You’ll never fucking win this

You’ll never fucking win with me here

and it’s the good of somebody

at the stake. At stake.


The mistake I make

is taking advice

from someone’s authority

and again. I do it.


What I didn’t want:

impressionable knowing

rejection’s a package deal

in this life.


But they know it now.

There’s no saving. Not. Just

retaliational penalties and

“I’m glad you didn’t win.”


I’m glad you didn’t win.

Before The Day Is Done

Sacrifice, I learnt it, right before Communion, other people’s, and I envied white dresses, and bridal doesn’t mean what it means, and I won’t wrap myself up as an offering, and this is me backtracking Hail Mary. This is rewriting prayers. Rewritten regularly anyway, enough, archaic versions stick and I can’t eliminate thou and thee and thine but you’re gone. I close the plane door on it.


Penn Badgley

You know what turns you off when you see it. Before that, the delicious unknown swirl, the way his hair sticks to his head nonchalantly, like it’s better not to wash now, will make you heady, and you’ll sleep with your stomach elevated, your aesophagus threatening to slide right out of your mouth.

You remember what dating without talking was like – like a movie – and the familiarity of films, which makes you remember sidewalks and stores you’ve never been to, means you hanker for other, simpler men, who haven’t an opinion on Damien Hirst, don’t know who Tracey Emin is.

His fault wasn’t trying, writing, dressing, kissing, wasn’t what he said the first morning or what he’ll say the last. Some renovations you can’t make. The sheer energy in wood-sanding, carpet stapling is a full time job, and your career goals of princess, pop star, don’t leave room for almost men, slight ones, men growing their hair to pretend they’re Jeff Buckley, the sort of extinguishable genius that knowing is like touching a Ouija board. You saw The Exorcist when you were fifteen and have waited for transformation since.

You’re On My Mind So You Never Know

I didn’t think I could win you then I thought it and the possibility set on me like skin on hot milk, blancmange, a layer of Brie or thick gravy.

And it didn’t seem difficult, and at once impossible, and I thought how every TV show was preparation, the underdog, and every film in which the friend gets the girl at the end, was my impetus, the prophecy to fulfil.

None of my strategies were winning and you still ignored me in the halls or when I dropped by your house and your boyfriend was there and your eyes were apologetic, that gesture was all I needed to pursue you even when you weren’t technically up for pursual, even though you’re not.

If we were famous I’d write fan fiction about us, fleshing out moments we do have, implying what’s obvious in my head, not yours. If we just kissed I’d convince you. But I’m a steam engine. I’m dial up. I’m first wife when you’re ready for third. I’m Amiga.

For Me To Tell You

We will be that cliche. That’s how we’ll understand each other, and the world us, and we’ll know what we’re doing, which actions fit us exactly: rain kissing, foot popping, candlelit proposals, Tiffany rings, devotion that won’t end, belief that can’t stop.

And when we’re sick, when we have pneumonia, and arthritis means we’re not limber like we were, and we’re paranoid matches start fires which kill us, and we’ve stopped thinking anything is unending, that there’s such thing as ultimate, that the concept of forever exists, we’ll still match our hands, find leg space, lay down, and I’ll follow your neck like it’s sermon and you’ll recite whispered prayers like repetition gets anything but comfort, which it doesn’t get now, but the smell of your washing power I have in place of a compass and your ring on your wrong hand is my Inception, reminder, my Leo DiCaprio.


Regrets Collect Like Old Friends

Jack says, “It’s too much to expect rationality at the end of the world,” and I say, “That’s all I’d want actually,” and he replies, “Faced with some flesh eating mouth your decisions would snap quicker than well worn bra straps to the touch of a moderately attractive man,” and I tell him, “The last time someone tried to ping underwear I was wearing, I deleted them,” and Jack says, “Facebook, what a burn,” and I say, “No,” snap my fingers meaning vanished or vanquished, whichever is stronger, and Jack says, “Yeah, yeah, but I still don’t agree about Shane,” and I wish he’d agree to disagree about it but Jack wants issues smoothed out like discussion has the same properties as a steamer, a rolling pin or tyre.

In the third nightmare, no-one’s been invited and we’re waiting and it’s not a nightmare at all because I always choose private over performance, would prefer to keep vows secret, not have to stand in heels on stone for hours. After the rings are forced on to our fingers I say, “Shane was right, every single time, and I’d sacrifice someone if it meant you, and I’d lie if it got you home, and I’d make it all obvious, do what I could to force you to admit that our feelings were thicker than the top layer of a sticky toffee pudding, and I’d find a piece of myself at the edge of your mouth, buried beneath a newly formed layer of skin on your lips, and I’d make sure you’d smelt me and you couldn’t forget, and you’d wake up eventually knowing that every action that seemed callous, every sentence that felt heavy, was an attempt, and I’d never run out of them.”



I Can Never Leave The Past Behind

Eventually, you’re found out, and the identity you built, that took years and pounds and lies, is revealed simply, sandwiched between episodes, a quiet revelation and the other characters expect you slipping simply the way regular cast members have left lately. Except you’re one of them, infiltrated them, know each of their individual secrets and the group ones and where the safety deposit keys are hidden, where the safe is, passwords for tabs and dates of births, and hook ups and dress downs to use at certain restaurants, and within a month they’ll not know how you did it, in fact, they’ll not even notice, but they’ll be pouring you juice and offering you pastries that no-one so skinny would eat, really, but you’ll eat one anyway, because pretense is your game and you fucking invented it