History (a poem from 2009)

Reading poems I wrote in my tears, travelled to the dark places alone after you were gone. Patterns that repeat over and over until all my pathways are worn out. There were words in there that meant the earth, that torched buildings to the ground. You became drawn like a picture, biro lines on greying news. I listened to your voice from inside my ears, old songs with new meanings. Every single piece of you laid out as transparent pages, for me to read in my own way. You only cried at imaginary things. I hammered away on the surface without making a dent, whilst the rebounds chipped away at my brain and rotted my insides.

Sometimes you slipped. I saw something you didn’t want me to see. I never knew what it meant, or why it should stay hidden. I had the same glimmers in my heart but I never kept them as secrets because maybe they were smaller in my life. I wanted you to read me. I always loved to read.

When I was four years old I sat next to a bookshelf for a year.

The words don’t sound the same now. The vowels have no ring, no shape, no form. Nothing is familiar. When I lie in bed and look up at the council block, I feel like I did back home, back when he had six months to live. I’m tired of that now.

When I was twelve I thought I would be blonde and tall by sixteen.

Books I’ve read and stories I’ve heard, the same ones I’ve told to you. If only you’d heard the stories, listened to the lines and held them up to the light. How to share with you? I fought against actors for your attention, but they had a big shiny screen and adjustable volume. The sofa became your bed, whilst I talked to dead people. I only ever spoke to yours, mine were always missing.

Now I write to you. I write to you a lot. I never send the letters, the words never last the night. There’s no ending for me, no reasoning in the sentences, nothing that can hold me in, make me understand.

I am me.

I am you.

I ma em,

I ma uoy.


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