7.45 AM

I just feel like there’s a veil covering my eyes, making everything duller, my reactions slower, tiring me out before I get out of bed, while I’m lying there under my doona watching the clouds go past my window faster than I can move—the entire sky has changed in the time it takes me to bring my hand up to my face to scratch my nose. The clouds grow darker, and soon I’m lying here letting the rain fall on my arms.

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Lover Lover

I say I like honesty, I tell myself

I like honesty because

I keep making friends with lovers

with one-sided feelings

 

I know how those go, I am a girl

who lies on her bed in the daytime

earbuds in, staring into the middle-distance

watching a second life play out like

shadows on a sheet during a storm

 

I am a cautious person in life and

in imagination, knowing all too well

how the two fool around with one another

and at sixteen, how a thing between a boy

and me can turn my insides out

 

here I should admit, I am unlikely

and in all my state I attract people

who are all smiles and false impressions

who are my friends, my very best friends

until they admit otherwise

 

I can be bitter, even at my calmest

when I am told over the Internet

from age sixteen onwards, that I am loved

in a way I do not reciprocate

and that a relationship I thought

—dangerously—was equal, was not

 

I have lost too many people

to feelings felt, words unsaid for months

and months and months, amongst it all

I’m rarely spoken to in person

about feelings so personal

they ought to inspire intimacy

 

this is where I leave most, because

I haven’t been met with the chance

to share feelings, but instead have been stuck

receiving them, dealing with them

addressing them

 

if I am that girl for you, on the bed, daytime

through the blinds and eyes staring off

at something an arm’s length away

then you will know, because I will tell you

 

 

These Are Some of the Things You Missed

There are songs I choose just for the mornings

to dance to as the sun throws shapes

vertical across the carpet and horizontal

across the bookshelf

I’m grateful between 8AM and 9AM when

the shower is warm and the light is muddled

through the window at just the right angle—

a new kind of feeling to wake up from the night’s

sleep with the covers curled between my knees:

And here, now, wondering about how

the first thing I think

when I wake up is blue

Orphic Idiot

singing   from  the  other  side   of  the   River    Styx

the   words   lost  over  the  water, your  back turned,

my   ankle  dotted   with  blood,  your  neck strained

against  song,  so  i  sing:  “on  thee   the  portion of

our  time  depends, whose  absence  lengthens  life,

whose                          presence                            ends.”

you   look   back,   you   look   back,  you looked back.

i    crouch  at  the  bank  and let my dress dip into the

water. you   kneel   in  the  sand,  hands  behind  you,

eyes  forward.  you  sing  as  the sword comes down,

and   you  sing  as   you  cross  the river, and you sing

as    Hades’   bottom    lip   trembles,  as   i   hold  you,

singing   from   the   same   side   of    the  River  Styx.

 

Rocket Girl

A collage of Tavi Gevinson Takes Centre Stage by Claire Marie Healy and If Only We Had Taller Been by Ray Bradbury – none of these lines are my own, they’ve been taken and rearranged. 

it is about becoming a girl possessed

we’d reach our hands to touch and almost touch the sky

though right in front of us, the girls feel far away and unknowable,

among those turned backs, though you wouldn’t know it yet, is

restricted adolescence

our reach was never quite enough

like any other 20-year-old on a Friday afternoon in New York

i send my rockets forth between my ears

hoping an inch of Good is worth a pound of years

she smiles at the idea

for some eight years now:

an ongoing conversation with herself

to diaries of brain-dust left over from dreams

“just figuring it out,”

the thing that no one wants to hear

“this is actually bad journalism,” she sighs

next year seems less achievable than inevitable

Short man, Large dream

rockets forth between my ears

navigating New York’s romantic landscape,

making your adolescent rage heard in a world,

the parallels and the serendipities do not escape me.

Stuff Your Eyes with Wonder

so every other week I go to this second-hand bookstore and I

head to sci-fi/fantasy/horror because I know where the letters line up

and where you are, or where you should be, at eye height between

the a’s and c’s.

 

yesterday I went to the counter to ask a woman if you were hiding

somewhere else amongst the stacks, maybe you had snuck somewhere

beneath the bookshelf where they stock their extra paperbacks

just out of reach.

 

I remember rummaging my father’s bookshelf looking for you

and all I found was your preface in a 1989 anthology titled Foundation’s Friends

and you said Isaac was in the mountain-moving business, but he did not move

but eat them.

 

and when a friend handed you to me in a library and you told me

I would pay by the half-hour for my words and I would be sleepless

but if someone didn’t see value in my hunger I should pick up my dinosaurs

and leave the room.

 

and you taught me that new tennis shoes make a summer endless,  that

rain can kill if you let it, that stars are addictive when you have a rocket

full of fuel and a home to crash into, with dandelion wine to drink

in the basement.

 

the woman said she would call me when someone else gives you up, that

they don’t print many of you anymore and so maybe you are on Mars with Poe

waiting for everyone to forget you, so I want to tell you that I’m pacing

back and forth in the dust.

 

I remember, I remember, I remember something else. What is it?

Yes, yes, part of Ecclesiastes. Part of Ecclesiastes and Revelation. Part of

that book, part of it, quick now, quick before it gets away,

before the wind dies.

 

This poem is in response to my favourite short story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman, and to my favourite author.