Remember to Exhale

find some release

I watched him watch me drink a glass of wine from across the room, him stealing looks between banter with the boys, me; at ease small sips and slight side eye. I knew he thought I was “something”; you can see that on a person’s face. Just what though, I don’t know.


My goodness, and in my drunken state he arrived and he looked like salvation

I tumbled into you heart first

On why I hated you calling me “Darling”

When I was a child I used to shout for my mother
“Mom, mom, mom!”
and she would say:
“that’s my name, don’t wear it out”

I knew you five minutes before the word
slid out your mouth so easily
and I am sure, on the many women before me
(and probably during me)
Darling had the same smooth sensation of
a shot of amarula
sweet and heady and deliciously quick

I knew then that you were full of
Darlings and Honeys and Babes
and used them over and over
like weapons to quicken love’s bottom line
it felt like a slimy lie

that’s why I called it patronizing
because you were only offering a cheap imitation
of the real thing
even though my hand felt expensive in yours

and I can’t lie and say that
I never wanted you to call me Darling
but I wanted you to mean it
and obviously you were just okay
with cheap imitations

my hand is the most expensive
you will ever hold
and those words are not synonyms for my name
stop wearing them out
before you’ve earned them

I write poetry like it’s a vice

only comes when another you arrives
like hot rods on my skin
the burn lingers long after you’ve gone

And I still can’t comprehend
how I could fall so easily
for an ugly truth
because I always dreamed of falling
for a beautiful reality

You smiled like you were sin himself
and your touch was a death
I died a thousand times over
from your hot rod fingers

And still
I would gladly die by your hands
if I could feel the burn of you once more


I dreamed of professional dancers and tunnels and my old bedroom in my old house and once again being close to my best friend. I dreamed of an old man having a tea party for his birthday in an 18th century house. I dreamed of creaking wooden floors- the kind where you can feel the hollowness just beyond it, carved wooden bird cages sat next to antique briefcases. Wary footsteps and foreboding evil and tea that never arrived and cups too fragile to hold, with my pinky finger entwined with my childhood best friends’. Everything felt familiar, but nothing felt completely right. I dreamed that I took too long and I didn’t work hard enough and I missed opportunities and grabbed others too quickly. A peek in passing of window to a garden, the grass very fine and a little too dry. I never quite got to the garden try as I may. Everything was too something and nothing was just as it should’ve been.

I had been drowning so long I only realised that I was dying when I woke up and my whole body refused to co-operate. There is nothing like you, there is nothing like your perfect grace and your perfect peace and your perfect will and I only want you and I don’t want to wade around without you I just want you and I don’t care about anything else because you hold my life in your hands, you are the very air I breathe and you told me to “Be strong and of good courage” because you were always there always always there even when I left and didn’t care and I feel peace because I know this I knew it I have always known it I just needed time to come back to you. I am so done with cheap selfish versions of your love that is immeasurable.