you shut the door, drove me to the all-night shop.
I was three weeks late. the air was damp and hot.
our pale reflections on the back windscreen,
the local radio DJ playing Dancing Queen
and the checkout girl in the superstore
who didn’t look at me, just what I bought.
you pointed out each lit window in town.
Take notes, you said, one day you will write this down.
it’s true. most days, I plunder what I see,
play deaf unless a poem answers me.
when I nod absently at what you’ve said,
I’m thinking of that night instead—
me in the bathroom, long before time,
already squinting for the telltale line.
“Take Notes”, Helen Mort.
They told me that I was meant for the cleaner life;
that you would drag me through the mud.
They said that you would tread all over me,
that they could see right through you,
that you were full of hot air;
that I would always be chasing,
always watching you disappear after sleeker models—
that it would be a vicious cycle.
But I know better. I know about your rough edges
and I have seen your perfect curves.
I will fit into whatever spaces you let me.
If loving you means getting dirty, bring on the grime.
I will leave this porcelain home behind. I’m used to
twice-a-day relationships, but with you I’ll take all the time.
And I know we live in different worlds, and we’re always really busy,
but in my dreams you spin around me so fast, I always wake up dizzy.
So maybe one day you’ll grow tired of the road
and roll on back to me.
And when I blink my eyes into morning,
your smile will be the only one I see.
No Matter the Wreckage
grief, i’ve learned, is just really love.
it’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. all that unspent love gathers up in the corner of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest.
grief is just love with no place to go.