even though it happened last January,
when I thought I was numb from the cold
but I was numb from you
and sometimes everything you left behind cuts into
my tongue and I find myself choking up your name
even though it’s been 3 months since you’ve called
and I’m not sure how your voice still plays in my head
when I can’t even remember how it sounds
and there are scars and bruises all over me that I
could’ve sworn had faded but everyone looks at me
like I’m about to collapse
and sometimes I kiss boys who grab me like they
want to break me and I let them because there’s
nothing left to break
and sometimes they taste like you
and I used to smile like I wasn’t empty
but you’re stuck in my head
and in my heart
and underneath my fingernails
and I’m so sorry but you can’t stay here"
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg
I sped around the twists and turns of our hometown,
you in the next seat,
begging me to slow down.
I saw these moments on a movie screen,
fearlessness gleaming in my eyes
spouting some shit about
not getting in a car with a girl
who is not afraid to die.
It sounds morbid but when I think of my mangled body
in the wreckage of my car,
it doesn’t matter how many kisses you plant
on my gossamer skin.
That broken, bloody mess of bone
and flesh and life and love
is the only one my mind can see me in.
You told me that your heart was racing,
I said, “I have a habit of doing that to boys.”
I can suck a thousand dicks
but nothing would ever make me feel as alive
as seeing your life flash in front of your eyes.
It was then, I realised,
I have some serious issues.
It was when I couldn’t let you leave
that I noticed how my stitches
were poking out
and with one touch, it hurt,
but you healed me.
You are alcohol on open wounds,
You are breaking the skin to cover the bruise,
You are anaesthetic that doesn’t work
And a scalpel, unsharpened when used.
But your kisses remind me
that the road is not my home,
and my grave will not lie
in a metaphor for my life.
The most sober thought I had
whilst your fingers touched my face
was that I belong to nothing
but my foot on the brake.