Collapse - Melissa Lee-Houghton
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Listening to music I don’t know because it doesn’t remind me
of anything. This town is a different colour in the rain and the mood is
evaporating quickly into pain that bypasses the synapses and goes
for the heart, my bloody aorta too distracted to snatch it.
My thighs, my calves, my breasts, my vulva, my arms,
forget where their agony is, flooding with blood and the thought of
one hundred years of all the Hell they can manage.
When they draw up the promise of a quiet life,
pierce the skin so my body can suck up hungrily the abstraction
of wanting nothing but love for the people I love but wanting for myself
just nothing. When they fuck me up I remember how I tore
and how this has happened before. I could drink ‘til the end of time.
I could burn myself with cigarettes; find a blade, a willing needle;
still my life would be the same; just my skin will crawl—collapse in again.
There is nothing beautiful about my lips or the way I kiss; I kiss
like there’s nothing to gain by kissing. I love, like there’s nothing to gain
by loving and I fuck like there’s everything to gain by fucking.
You know why I’m telling you this—I’m absolutely not
a good girl. I’m shaking, and I have not said the right thing. And you
have not said the right thing, and never will again.
unpublished poem, © Melissa Lee-Houghton 2015, used by permission of the author.