challenge/79

You hover in the background

of my life, like a ghost that 

refuses to let go, and your

mind is cluttered with questions,

each one it’s own brand of 

egotistical, but you’re too afraid

to ask me anything, too afraid

to even say hello, instead, your 

eyes dart away from me faster

then I can register- I guess we’re

both trying to pretend the other 

doesn’t exist, but it’s hard to ignore

a presence that lingers so close 

you can feel it’s breath on your 

back, I guess, you don’t want to

look at the cause of your guilt. 

Don’t want to acknowledge the 

lines you’ve crossed, see the scars

you’ve left, guess you don’t want 

to deal with the fallout, so instead,

you ask other people- our hearts 

are tin can telephones and they are

the string that connects us, the

rope that will hang us; they are the

middlemen in a transaction that’s

taking place under the table, but 

I would like to change the rules of 

this game, because I hold all the 

cards, you just hold her- I hold 

all the cards, you just hold lies, 

you’re just about getting by, so 

next time you want information, 

get it yourself, stop using your 

friends as proxy walls to answer 

for your bad behaviour- 

do it yourself, and then, when

you’re standing all alone, let’s

see how well you fare.

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to clarify:/ 77

I AM NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU. 

Instead, I am in love with the idea

of leaving you behind, with

the idea of living in a city, or

sleeping in a bed where I have 

never kissed you- I do not long

for your touch. Instead, I have

hot showers, hoping that 

the boiling water will burn away 

the trace of your hands, because

I am in love with the idea of 

forgetting. In love with the idea 

of moving on, of kissing a

different set of lips, I am in love

with the idea of forgetting who 

you are and maybe you won’t 

understand that. Maybe one day,

you will. But no matter what day

it is, no matter what time it is,

I am still not in love with you,

and I’m never going to be again.

heart on loan/ 76

Last December, I gave you my 

heart while we were sitting on 

swings in a resort in the middle 

of nowhere. Everyone else was 

celebrating life, the air was

vibrating with joy all around us,

but we just sat there. I was

thinking about how, no matter

how hard I try, I can’t always be 

the good person, and you- well

I don’t know what you were thinking

about, but I would like to imagine 

it was me- and so while we sat

there I gave you my heart on loan,

told you I would need it back 

eventually, told myself I would 

take it back sooner than later,

but it’s been 9 months and 

I guess I got around to this pretty

late, but I would like my heart 

back now. In the same condition

I gave it to you- it was a bit bruised,

but it was still alive. Still

thumping loudly, I could hear it

in your pocket as you walked away,

it was alive. Yes, I’ll admit, it 

could have been in better shape 

then, but I’ve never trusted anything

perfect- I like to pick the less

visually appealing item no matter

what I’m buying, and my heart 

was no different- it resembled

a collection of crushed strawberries

in a small glass jar, and I liked it 

that way. So give it back to me.

Give it back to me in the shape I

gave it to you, I don’t want the 

imprint of this year on it just yet,

don’t want to see it wither, don’t

want to see it go from strawberry 

to blackberry, so give me my 

goddamn heart back. I should have 

never let you have it in the 

first place, should’ve known you 

would be the kind of guy who

would lose it in his cupboard, lose

it under the pile of lies lying

on his bedroom floor, but

don’t worry, I’ve realised now. 

So last December, I gave you 

my heart, and this September,

I would like it back. 

coward/ 75

you said it was because of them/ didn’t know you were someone/ without a spine/ didn’t realise for you/ the lies only prick when it suits you/ 

isn’t morality comfortable/ when you can alter it to the size and shape/ of your excuse/isn’t an ending welcome/ when it’s on your terms/ isn’t it nice cutting someone out/ when you’re the one/ holding the scissor/ doesn’t it feel good/ to be free of the baggage that comes with/ misdeeds-

you said it because of them/ but maybe it’s also because of you/ maybe it’s also about you/ your inability to deal with the fallout/ 

you said it’s because of them/ but maybe/just maybe/ you were lying.

the hills/ 74

I haven’t been writing much these days.

Mostly because writing makes me think of you, and

thinking of you makes me think about this 

summer- the way we hiked up a hill so that

you could show me the skyline, and, I remember

thinking that maybe you thought I was the sky,

because you looked into my eyes like they were

stars. Then, we kissed as cars passed us,

alternating between laughing and kissing and laughing

and kissing and I remember it felt like a movie,

like a reality so picture perfect it didn’t exist, and

that’s why I haven’t been writing, haven’t been

penning down these thoughts, because

I am still in love with you, and the more

I write, the more this feels like the present and

not a past, the more I write about you, the

less in control I feel- like I am still falling, like 

you will still catch me- I haven’t been writing

lately, because writing makes me think of you,

think about the love I used to have, the love

I lost; I haven’t been writing lately, because all I 

can write about is you, and you’re no longer mine.

29th July/ 73

I miss you so much. I’ve been 

thinking about you a lot lately, 

thinking about how having

you here would change everything,

how having you here would 

make me a different person,

one who doesn’t wear the

stain of grief on her soul, and

I keep wondering how you would

react to life I have, to the panic

that surrounds me, to the

things I keep trying to do, the

things I keep failing at and

I don’t know- never got enough

time to find out what could

have been, never got time to

figure out what two parents

feel like and now, now I miss

you so much it hurts on the

best of days, is debilitating on

the rest; I don’t even remember

what your voice sounds like.

Don’t even remember what I talked 

to you about, my memories 

are flitting away like migrating

birds and I’m just sitting here,

watching them leave me, while

wishing, praying, hoping, that 

they’ll be back. That you’ll be back.

on not being able to escape you/ 72

Whenever I shuffle my Spotify 

library, every second song 

reminds me of you, reminds

me how no matter how

hard I try, you’ll always be

around, because the songs

are still good even if this

love isn’t, and whenever I

see you in the hallway I 

can feel my heart skip a beat, 

but it isn’t in a good way, more 

in a way that makes me want to

dig a hole in the ground and

crawl into it until the storm 

passes- now, you make me feel

like I’m falling but somehow, 

despite that, I still expect

you to catch me. Still expect

this not to lead to visceral 

longing; after all this, I still

expect it not to hurt; but the

expectations don’t matter 

because I can’t escape you, can’t

escape the trace you’ve left 

on my life- you cover all my 

memories like a layer of 

dust in an abandoned house,

and I don’t know where to 

start cleaning, don’t know

how to start forgetting, don’t

know how to start escaping

from the death trap this love is.

letting go/ 71

Every day is still a 

struggle, your face is 

inked onto my memory 

and I can’t seem to forget 

your voice; you haunt

me no matter where I am.

Today, all I could think of

was that night in the 

park, all I could 

remember was how

good this used to be, and

now my heart plummets 

when I look at you, every 

word you say a pinprick

on my pincushion heart,

and I don’t know how to

stop hurting. Today, all

I could think about 

was your hands on my 

waist, mine around your

neck, all I could think

about was the good 

times, but those are 

over now, and I’m not 

sure how to let go.

sadness/ 70

The truth is, I’m not sad. 

I’m not sad that this ended, no,

sadness doesn’t begin to cover it,

the truth is, every time I see you,

I can feel my heart shatter in my 

chest, I feel an ache within

my very bones for something 

more, for something less, for

something that isn’t so undefined,

and I know this isn’t about you,

or me, no, it spans the entire 

universe, maybe it was just destiny,

but it still hurts , still feels like

falling ten stories down, only

this time, you’re not going to 

catch me; but I’m not sad. I’m

not sobbing my eyes out for 

a boy, even if it’s you, but I’m 

still broken, still a bit hurt, still

feeling like the only thing I 

want is your arms around me;

I’m not sad. But the truth is,

I’m not over it.

might as well/ 69

You dig your nails into your 

wrist until crescent shaped 

smiles decorate every inch

of your butterfly hands, and 

you try your best not to cry,

try your best to keep it all

inside, try to sew up the

sadness inside of you so 

that everyone else thinks 

youre fine, but you never 

succeed, never manage to 

convince the world you’re 

alright, never manage to 

look sane enough to blend

into the crowd, so you lift the

knife and imagine it slicing 

through your bone- if you can’t 

blend in, you might as well

bathe yourself in red, you might

as well feel the pain you 

want to, you might as well 

flutter in and out of consciousness

until you finally reach where 

you belong- if you can’t be

normal, you might as well die.