Dear Love

27 Feb

Whenever me and Dad have those conversations

the ones where we stand by the bread-making machine

that he never uses anymore,

both wanting to talk about feelings and ambitions,

or inexplicably aching testicles that probably aren’t cancer

but skipping past these boring bits, like he did

when he used to read me the Hobbit in bed,

and discuss instead Newcastle United’s premier league position,

or the squirrel that has sometimes been coming into the garden recently,

and them leaving again, and them coming back,

you tend to sit behind his eyeballs,

in a big swivel chair. You kick your feet and your perfect smile

comes and goes with the regularity of a lighthouse, as you spin,

giggling to yourself.


Dear Love,


Last month, I woke up in a small living room,

somewhere near Birmingham, surrounded by

groggy friends that you had introduced me to.

You lay on my chest all morning as a massive Doberman

and drooled on my face all through Hobo with a Shotgun,

which obviously ruined for me what is otherwise an excellent movie.


At Christmas when my ten year old nephew climbed

up the sofa, using my sister’s leg as a hand rail,

to reach for the Quality Street tin in her lap,

you were in his twitching muscles, teaching

him something new with every movement.

You peeked out at me from his baby-gro and winked.

I could not meet your yellow gaze and had to go to my bedroom.


Dear Love,


I heard you in the news the a while back.

You had drowned your infant siblings in the bath

because mum was always asleep

and you just wanted them

not to be dirty.

You’re like that. You do that kind of thing.

You claim that you can’t help it, but

I’m not so sure.


There are mornings on which I cannot peel

my scabby self from my bedsheets, not despite

the fact that, but because of the fact that I know

that so many people have so much of you for me.


I heard you knock on my front door last week.

I knew you by your smell of sundried laundry

and blocked drains and pretended to be asleep.


I heard you fetch a ladder and clamber up on to the roof.


You turned yourself into a thick golden liquid

and I saw you  ooze through every crack

in my bedroom ceiling.


I have spent the last week scavenging the kitchen,

for pots and pans

to fill up with your drips.


Now, I am running out of such crockery,

I’ve expended all the flower vases and empty jars

and even the one pint glass from the kitchen cupboard

that I got from the Nottingham beer festival last summer

and still you’re seeping your bloody sunshine through.


You’re all over my carpet now.

You’re getting caught between my toes

and sticking them together.

You’ve clogged up the locks and won’t let me leave,

without drinking up

your gooey snot.

This is what you want.


Yesterday, you reached down and opened a window.

You promised me that, full up with you, I would float

to any pavement of my choosing.


I know you’re right.

But I will not let my self be another saucepan.

You’re reaching the neckline, and I think

I might drown soon.

But I will not empty myself for you.

I will not catch you.

I am not ready.





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