Not What You Think

This wasn’t a mistake until you made it one and you had every clue, knew solutions, like bleach, were exonerating. Instead, you patched clothes, reattached arms to old dolls and hoped the tears would mend. They didn’t mend.

Instead, you’re an uncertain park walker, unsure if the castle’s open, if the coffee truck is trustworthy, whether to keep dogs on a leash.

You’re my revelation daily, a well structured sentence or Bible verse revealing a truth or jam smacking me so that I stand up or sit down at a person’s request. This is the opportune moment to ask for your money so I’m asking for it. And this, my collection plate, is a beg or a preach or a charity video designed to make you feel the guilt that I’ve taught you to feel.

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Be Bold And Mighty Forces Will Come To Your Aid

Learnt all I know from books. I’m an English teacher.

I want you to win. Like every battle we all fought, like The Civil Wars say. Like Plato or whoever really said that. Wikipedia doesn’t know. And that’s like a newspaper failing, everybody getting zero on a test they prepared for.

The poem I wrote I called Aria, I called it all you, but your mum was tugging at my trenchcoat, the sleeves of my fleece, and I knew that she’d find it, research, decide if I was husband number two even though I wouldn’t be. How weird would that be? I’d be like your dad or something. That would warrant a LOL. Or lol? I’m older than you; I don’t know.

This is not indoctrination or a hostile takeover or those people knocking on your door asking if you have Jesus as you eat your cereal and they don’t know what they’re selling, really, because there are so many options in stores now, so many choices and you couldn’t pick out a car let alone religion, a husband.

Whatever I’m told I do the opposite and I always did and you’d think maturity would iron me like a pair of shrunk curtains but the foundation never came out so that’s a problem and it begs asking, why iron something stained anyway? That’s what we call a waste of energy, isn’t it?

You are Lucozade, steroids. Everything’s fine if no-one finds out I’m taking them, or if someone does, let’s hope they’re secret keepers, that they’re fucking good with a lie.

You make me lie better and what more could I want than that? What is there to hope for? We’ll take this to graves.

Not A Million Soldiers Could Take You From Me

Any threat, from your father or forces higher – gods or police officers – isn’t enough to stop me.

I read stories in which people leave other people on alters to follow you in streets, to learn how you sleep.

Any sleepover we have is The Exorcist, I Know What You Did Last Summer. I don’t mean costumes and masks, but unsettling, short, inconclusive.

Every past tense or present participle – hiring, doing, eating – is you making beds, taking showers, us buying houses, having having having.

If you had asked on our first night, the first time we broke the other’s personal space, I would not say we would know each other now, or that adversary was something that happened outside of books, film plots.

I delete your voicemails but you aren’t erasable like pencil which isn’t really erasable either unless you’ve pressed so softly there’s little or no indentation at all. And trust, I couldn’t press softly enough.