My Body: A Love Story  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I wrote love on my arms
to honour my feelings.
There were nights
I awoke
to traces on
my pillow
and creases on my
cheek that
mimic the
clefts tearing
the ocean bed.
Love spiralled through
the choir's song
echoing the
patterns dawn's rosy
fingers traced
creeping across the sky.
And scratching at my voice box
as it raked over my skin.

I felt love in my bones
on quiet days when I looked
at the river.
You could pick over
them like a carcass;
each one you
felt holding a story.
The clavicle he bit;
searing a bruise I'd not forget.
The clouds of weed smoke
danced tendrils in my olfactory hallucinations
and still conjure his broken eyes.

I slew love into my skin
The scratch of razor blades
atop the ulna
spoke of the one
who taught me the most
and cut me deepest.
He smelled of his mother's laundry
and grapefruit;
his fingers
tapped out rhythms as
he practised music
and shaped my future.

I gouged love in my eyes
trying to veil away my pain.
The scars of dirty needles
and a youth so misspent I can't even play pool.
The cigarettes he ground into my cheekbone
just below my eye socket.
His vitriolic words burnt a small hole in my heart
and left behind the scent of ash and blackened spoons.
He gave me stolen gold and blood stained sheets
but taught me forgiveness.

I smuggled love into prison.
Tasted salty blood in the back of my throat
with broken incisors and
cracked ribs. When I smell washing up liquid
and talcum powder it's him I see.
Scrubbing my skin red raw
and trying to turn his white.

I never wanted that trade.

I toured love around Europe.
We slept on railway platforms
and bathed in heavy rain.
I shattered my calcaneus
and he carried me;
never complaining
about his metallic navicular.
He learnt to dance with fire and
smelled of petrol and sawdust.
Our shattered ankles echoed
our fragile hearts and he taught me loss.

I etched love in the sand;
our angry walks on windy
days when the sea spelt out words
and in pathetic fallacy; raged against the rocks.
She has an infectious smile
and every word she says
is crafted like poetry
in the gentlest voice.

I tore love away from my soul.
He massaged my sore jaw bone
and watched me cry in pain
whilst he masked his under our blanket of lies.
My heart still fissured from
his emancipation
I tried to learn
life
and adulthood
and bled from my womb
whilst I wept into his tears
of Elska not being our baby,
but the cells of cracked hedonism
and delusion. I broke his heart
and he still fixed my broken body.
I saw a bright horizon,
I saw a northern sky
in the darkest depth of winter
in a country laden with larva and ice.
I missed the shattered tibula
and massaging his skull.
He filled me up with chorales
and facts about the universe.
I hoped that he'd forgive me
and I hoped he'd want to
try. But his love
meant more to me than
summertime
and I knew that for all the bones I've injured
I'd break a thousand more
to save his heart.
His face is etched in concrete
in chalky crumbling shores
in every time I pass the rhyme
of tides. In the whistle of the wind.
In every worn pebble of Serpentine
the scent of gorse on the cliff,
The chasing of dragonflies,
and all the words I write.

I stole love from myself
in the hope that he'd find his.

I committed my love to the sea
when the water was my shibboleth.
I chose to hide behind words
and he knew which ones would bruise me.
Sometimes on quiet days
by the river
I smell the woodsmoke
and diesel
and find those words in the mud.
Resting in the suture
where Integrity used to be.

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