If Your Lips Could Speak

If Your Lips Could Speak

“I’m so drunk” you said loosely from behind the partially closed door. I laughed, but in reality, I was quite drunk myself. You had chosen the very middle cubicle, the other four doors, two at either side of you, were wide open, and empty. We were completely alone.

I was sat up on the counter facing them, a sink at either side of me. The room was swaying a little, from side to side. Suddenly, I became very aware that this would probably be the last time we would ever see each other.

When you re-emerged from inside the cubicle, I was startled. Startled by your beauty, started by the sudden sense of losing you, startled by the proximity of your body, suddenly next to mine. Then, confusion took over.

I had chased you for months, I had slowly, subconsciously fallen in love with you. We had kissed. Three times. Very drunkenly kissed. You said, all three times were total drunken mistakes. Yet, you continued to invite me out for drinks. I thought it was because you felt sorry for me.

New to the village, no friends or family around, a broken relationship. But then, there you were that night, in all your Dutch courage glory, making the first move. First, in a very sweet voice, you asked me for a hug. I obliged, of course.

Then, you slowly pulled back, just enough so that our eyes met. And when they did, I swear tiny electric shock waves travelled up and down my spine. Then you kissed me. But this was not like any other drunken kiss we had previously shared.

No, this was your ‘I think I love you too kiss’, this was our ‘it’s too late now kiss’, it was my ‘goodbye’ kiss. We left the toilets shortly after and carried on drinking until the early hours of the morning. I walked you home, you, protesting the entire way as usual. You begged me to not forget you once I left. I told you I never could.

The truth is, a year has passed since I last spoke to you, but that night, along with a few others, are forever imprinted in my mind and on my heart. I still write poetry about you. I write about the time we got Chinese food and made a midnight picnic on the park.

We kissed that night too, a lot. You also said that it was a mistake. Now, I sit at home, hundreds of miles away from you, and sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing. If leaving was the right decision. I wonder if my poetry is ever going to be about someone else.

Dentro da Minha Caixa de Recordações

Side note: Today is International Grandparents Day. A while ago, before my granddad died, actually, I started writing this poem for him. Today I translated it into Portuguese and although this is a first draft, I’m proud of it and wanted to add it to my portfolio. I understand a lot of people won’t be able to read and/or understand it, but you can catch the English version right here.

Dentro da minha caixa de recordações

As minhas primeiras recordações são imagens de ti,
de ir à rua contigo, buscar a Rita a escola. Lembro-me
tao bem, era preciso a minha mão inteira para
segurar só num dos teus dedos gigantes.

Na segunda classe a escola levou a minha turma a praia.
Eu guardei os meus óculos dentro do saco do almoço
enquanto fui a água, mas a professora não soube a diferenciar
entre banana e casca, e os ósculos foram parar ao lixo.

Lembro de chegar a casa com uma carta da escola a pedir
desculpa, e uma enxaqueca de não ver nada. Tu não
disseste nada, apenas montaste a tua mota ferrugenta
e desapareceste dentro da noite. Não te vi mais naquele dia.

Na manhã seguinte, tal como magia, apareceram os meus
óculos, vermelhos, redondos e intactos, na mesa da sala.
Tu resmungaste que não tinham sido difíceis de encontrar
mas eu vi aquele sorriso orgulhoso, escondido atras do teu jornal.

Foi neste momento que eu aprendi a amar incondicionalmente.
E ainda tenho esse par de óculos na minha caixa de recordações.

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

In a city where every day is a miserable
December evening she makes me feel like July.
She does to me what summer does to trees
dresses my branches in life and colour, and
holds my proud roots firmly into the ground.

She’s the hot chocolate to my crisp autumn
morning, our fingers entwined inside my pocket
feel like handwarmers and when I drink from
her lips I feel warm and fuzzy like a million
butterflies decided to throw a party inside of me.

She reminds me of spring because when she
laughs I hear birds harmonising to my favourite
song, because her morning hair smells just like
sunshine, because her eyes make me want to skinny-
dip in the ocean, and slow dance under the moon.

I’ve never been winter’s biggest fan, but now I
queue seventeen hours out in the cold because
she wants front row seats for the first snow of
the year and likes to take long walks in the rain.
Come thunder or lightening bolts, she is my shelter.

Full Moon

Full Moon

July 31st, 2002

Today I looked at the white hammock by the bay window in my bedroom, for the first time in 6 months. You named it the ‘half-moon’ when we were kids, before you discovered the word Crescent and vowed to name your first-born child the same. Do you remember? The endless hours we spent there when we were little, it was our special private place where we could hide out from the whole world. After all this time, it was still your little escape corner, until recently.

As I closed my eyes, I swear I could see you right there, head tilted back, eyes closed, headphones turned up loud. Where did you go? Where did your mind disappear to when you sat there, zoned out, for hours on end? I made it across the room, I even touched it, but I could not bring myself to sit down, too afraid I would smell you on the cool, soft fabric and undo the last three months of therapy. Too unsure of whether I want to feel close to you or finally let you go.

I decided then that today I would finally write to you. To tell you what you have done to me, to try to cause you a measly one tenth of the pain you have so selfishly inflicted on me. On everyone that loved you. I know that I have not always been the best at communicating my feelings, but today is as good day as any to start, right? The university councillor suggested that I pack all your things away into a box, during stage 2 of my grieving process, anger. I was/am so angry with you.

I found the black moleskin notebook we bought in that quirky bookshop in London last year, because we thought the rainbow pages were in support of the LGBT community, but when the cashier scanned it the till read “children’s unicorn”. Today I dug it out and opened it to write you this letter, tears smudged the first page as my eyes came face to face with your messy, yet aesthetically beautiful handwriting. And again, clear as day, I closed my eyes and heard you say “The Adventures of Fluffypuff, the Gay Children’s Unicorn”.

It was harder than I thought, though! How can I possibly tell a dead girl that she has broken my heart in more ways than she will ever know? How can I yell at a ghost? I want to grab you, shake you violently and tell you I told you so, even though no one likes that person. I want to tell you that your funeral was the most physical pain that I’ve ever experienced even though I did not cry. Not crying hurts more, but I feel like you will not let me go. I want to hit you; I want to slap you back into life.

I saw your mum in the supermarket a couple of days ago. She looked pale and exhausted and she could barely look me in the eye, but the hug she gave me was excruciatingly tight. I wonder if she blames me. I wouldn’t blame her if she did. I would blame me. I do blame me. I could have done more! I should have done more. You were always smarter than me, your grades were always better than mine and you never really studied for them. That is why it is so hard for me to accept that you were this stupid! You were intelligent, but so fucking naïve.

You killed yourself even though you did not commit suicide, but the choices you made that night led you to that fate, and I blame you, too. I told you not to take those pills, I begged you not to get in the car with those fools but you, you were always chasing the moon and the stars. A free spirit, rebellious. Part of me wishes you had listened to me, your best friend, your soulmate. All of me wishes I had gone with you that night, all of me wishes I had taken the pills and gotten into the car with you, because at least then I would not be pen pals with a grave and my moon would always be full.

Bolton In Lockdown

Le Mans Square, Bolton

During Lockdown 2020 I had to venture through the town centre one day, and I was actually quite surprised at how pretty Bolton can be when its completely stripped back and naked. As towns go, this town is not the best, it has landed in the top five of worst northern towns to live in, more than once. But the Bolton that I found on this day, is one I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting in my eighteen years living here.

Bolton Interchange

The eerily empty Interchange station even had its own little charm, a few bus skeletons lay resting at their stands, and I walked past one single cleaner who jiggled his keys as he hummed a little tune that sent a shiver down my spine. The place was so spacious and empty that just the sound of my steps created a small echo. Cool, but creepy.

Victoria Square, Bolton

When I moved to Bolton eighteen years ago, Victoria square was probably one of the first places that I visited in the town, and it is now one of the only places that remains the same. The Market Place is unrecognisable, Newport Street, The Train Station, The Old Bus Station, The Water Place, so many landmarks have either changed or gone altogether, its comforting to still have one place that reminds me of such a huge milestone in my life. I will always hold a soft spot for Bolton in my heart.

Black Lives Matter: Manchester March

Favourite signs from the Manchester #BLM March
Racism IS Small Dick Energy!!

Taking the knee for 8m 36s for George Floyd

Favourite signs from the Manchester #BLM March
The UK Is Not Innocent

Favourite signs from the Manchester #BLM March
Use Your White Privilege To End Your White Privilege

Favourite signs from the Manchester #BLM March
Racism Is A Pandemic

Favourite signs from the Manchester #BLM March
J Hus Lyrics

Shaytan in Police uniform
Feds in a helicopter
I seen pigs fly
But I never seen a unicorn

On the days that I miss you the most

On the days that I miss you the most,
my heart weighs so much that
my body can not get out of bed.

I hear your voice in every
twenty-one pilots song
so I play their album on loop
and I sob along to every lyric.

On the days that I miss you the most,
I see your face stitched onto the green
of every snooker table that I pass by.

I miss the way waking up next to you
felt like home, the way your hair
smells in the morning. On the days
that I miss you the most, I am homesick.

Memory Box

Memory Box

Some of my earliest memories are memories with you,
how you would bring me along to pick up Rita from school.
I remember how it would take my whole fist just to
hold onto one of your fingers, your hands were that big.

When I was six years old I went on a school trip to the beach,
I put my glasses inside my lunch bag for safe keeping
but it turned out that my teacher didn’t know the difference
between a banana and a banana skin and threw my bag in the bin.

I remember, coming home with an apologetic note from school
in one hand and a fusion of blurry vision and migraine in the other,
after hearing my misfortune, you silently mounted your rusty old bike
and you were gone, my knight on a mission riding through the night.

The next morning sure enough, there they were on the coffee table
my little red glasses, like there were never gone. You mumbled something
about how I mustn’t have looked hard enough, they weren’t hard to find,
but I saw it, that smug little smile hiding behind your newspaper.

That was the moment that taught me unconditional love,
I still have those glasses in a memory box and I’ll always remember.

The Procrastination Games

This weekend, you completed the highest level on your favourite augmented reality game, The Procrastination Games. Starting at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, you stumbled down, the steep staircase that descends straight into the kitchen, one eye open, the other trying desperately to go back to bed.

You checked the level of water in the kettle and flicked on the switch. You stood, impatiently waiting, for the sound of a thousand tiny bubbles simultaneously reach their boiling point, day dreaming about the warmth of that first wonderful sip of tea.

Steaming mug in hand, you unlocked the back door, opening it just so, that enough cut-your-throat-cold-air got through to cut through the smoke from your hand rolled cigarette. Sitting on the bottom step of the mountainous staircase, blowing out clouds of smoke in between sips of tea, you planned out your day.

You had good intentions. You longed for the fulfilling feeling of achieving productivity, on a day specifically assigned to be productive, but first, you thought, I must visit my good F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Monica, Rachael, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross. One hour, maybe two tops and then you would to get to that list of things that you should have been doing, a week or three ago.

One hour merged into two hours, episodes turned into a whole season, Ross and Rachael got together and broke up and got back together again and broke up again, and day turned into night. You didn’t sleep well that night with the disappointment in yourself crawling under your skin, just below the surface.

Sunday morning, when you were propositioned a Christmas shopping day out, as much as you hate shopping, especially during the holidays, you reluctantly agreed. You love Christmas, you like getting ready for Christmas and wrapping presents and all that comes with it, but your idea of hell, looks a lot like aimlessly wondering in and out of shops, for hours on end, compulsorily sharing your personal space with hundreds of people and their pet germs.

However, knowing that Christmas is fast approaching and that you are rapidly running out of time, you went. It was an unsuccessful first attempt as any time that you tried to put yourself through the emotional torture that shopping is to you, and something caught your eye, all you could think was, do you know who would like this for Christmas? Me.

Three new nail varnishes and a couple of stocking fillers for your bother later, you gave up. Fuck it, you still have plenty of time, and speaking of time, it started to feel a lot like time for Chinese food and F.R.I.E.N.D.S re runs and hopes for a more productive week.