Surprises We Were Hoping To Avoid

Things you won’t wish for like
Sleeping with men your mother did
Or friends’ exes
And incurable illnesses
False rumours
True ones
And sex tapes
And restarts with Dan and Matt and Joe
And Jack
Week 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 10
Any mid-point
At which the dip is a death mask making
And any unclean paid for hotel room
Or Jury’s Inn
Eleventh choice at best

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.

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.

The Privilege Of Being Yours

I will turn out to be who you truly hoped I wasn’t and this is disappointing like the second single from any X-Factor winner, apart from Leona, who maybe got it right momentarily, but moments are disappearing acts slicker than Michael. And I’ll edge towards the sorts of behaviour you had reserved for psychotics and sisters and addicts and Lindsays and Ryders and Depps in different decades. And I’ll do it, especially the despicable thing, with the authenticity of a street bought watch telling almost the right time, and no-one stops to really listen to the tick because that’s time-wasting. I’ll fuck your dad for less than a fortune, to piss mum off, and I’ll integrate quicker than all the characters introduced at the start of season two of every show, sure a shake-up’s vital, but just because budget affords it, shouldn’t make it so.


Really Maybe Shouldn’t

We have a distance pact so that since July, we won’t break the other’s space, the way we did then, when you were a Columbus pedlar even when the reality is we weren’t each other’s firsts, or thirds. And when we street bump people whose collars we’ve lifted, sifted, sucked, we reinforce housework we do and what we’re prepared to and yours is a neck promise, calendar irrelevant, and each past person’s a desperate text, public plead for a relationship which ended abruptly because some things aren’t written to last, remembered only anecdotally as a, “Fuck no, don’t remind me. God.” But you, a reboot of a reboot of a remake, don’t need recasting. Never needed Shia LaBoeuf to re-legitimise you. And we are the kiss that loses to Robert and Kristen at the Movie Awards consecutively but, really, maybe, shouldn’t.


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.

Carol Ferris

I will wait for you but once I get you, I won’t wait. Because how many times do you own what you want? A lot sure, but I mean really really want. And I’ve wanted you since the ten years between us mattered, when you were dating Oscar winners or nominees. I try not to pay too much attention to the accolades of past lives you lived before you acted against me.

The chemistry was a pay check for a day, a wig worth wearing, and the green screen was an easy act, and each time you disappeared, materialised elsewhere, it was a simple pitch, an emotion I found, and the tabloids told, the stories unravel, and I hung like last year’s coat jacket sure that there was some wear for me, other than professional glaze.

I waited, and the merge was timescaled, with me sure that what happens to me won’t happen to her, wasn’t the course run by you both, because I’m a slower burn, later award, significant hair colour, no music career and none waiting. And every person I fucked before was a has-been or up-and-coming indie, never a verger, A-list maker, just 5 years too late.

I grew up on Titanic, wondering if Leo and Kate reenacted their costumeless roles outside, cameras off. I craved co-stars and I craved you and I got you and I won’t be a dot in a sequence obliterated by 2014.