Lipstick marks on cocktail napkins in dingy pubs,
I think about clawing my name or some
on the toilet doors,
but I’m not committing to bricks and wood.
Hearts grow old like cities;
some roads are so worn
it’s hard not to retrace the steps
of old lovers,
without even knowing it. Layers,
and layers of graffiti.
Of lipstick applications on
I try to be beautiful here, it’s
all I’m good for,
it’s all the city eats.
But you. Gods,
you know the back alleyways
of this heart like a cat. I feel you rubbing up against
the screwed up rain gutters.
You lean up against the wall of all the empty buildings
I’ve not had the
to tear down.
The permanence of claw marks on old doorways here
leaves something to be desired.
This city up the stakes of living without us noticing,
the journey from mine
eats more each time.
But for now
I’m putting on more lipstick
waiting for you,
we’ll walk familiar streets, ignoring
the history of this place.
The women in my family have iron in their veins,
but mine bends the wrong way.
It’s like I was born with a magnet in me that repelled me from anything
I could find in the ground there.
I name the emptiness in the city tunnels,
the kind I find in the tube when the lights flicker.
The ones who left have now done their leaving,
so I fill and empty all my mugs.
This is my secret shame,
this is now how I cope with failure of intimacy;
Name my tongue entropy,
so I remember everything decays and is reborn again.
The men in my family have salt in their veins,
but my crooked veins are filled with sugar.
It’s like I was born with bait in me that compelled me to hook on to anything
I could dig out of the deep in people.
I name the emptiness in the urban parks,
the kind I find in the hollow of the old trees.
The ones I left have now done their mourning,
so I fill and empty my mouth.
This is my open defiance,
this is how I cope with complacency of contentment;
name my breath strength,
so I remember this too is life, even on the bad days.
I’ve done my time on the Mountain of Desire.
My steps were heavy the entire ascend, and none
of the waters
were mine to drink from.
Lady Want rules up here
she spoke to my parched lips,
words that ran down my throat like avalanches in spring.
We were burying
covering old ground.
In a tower
I’ve sat waiting for pilgrims
to carry morning dew
in lady mantles to my
and pretend they were holding
If anything roared it was not the water.
I wait for dawn while I contemplate
how much water
can fill a mouth
gaping towards the moon like a lost sunflower.
The next pilgrim can lay her lady mantle
and Lady Want
can lick the dew from the hollow of my throat
My second book Urchin Heart is out.
You can buy it as a physical copy here: https://www.createspace.com/6665282
It’s also in e book form on most amazon sites: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M8M1RCU
Urchin Heart is a collection where I’ve explored growing up in Northern Norway, the superstitions and myths, and how a girl with too much free time on her hands started spinning stories and finding ways to cope with the growing pains.
It’s strange to publish something so very personal to me, but this collection was written after a lot of conversations with people who grew up like I did. Although it’s a personal story, it’s a letter to those girls. To those people. Who looked for the footsteps of giants in puddles of water in the country side.
The ones who maybe always believed they were a little magic.
I hope you like it! x
It took me over twenty five years to learn
how to keep my head up high when I walk down the street.
My kneecaps are not my destination, I do not need to look to them.
Now no one can say I did not know what I was walking into.
When the weather breaks,
and it will break,
I’ll shake with the blessed thunder.
I open my heart every morning to the sound of
My shoulder blades want to meet,
like my lips want to meet
tea with one sugar and a splash of milk.
Something in my chest
sings like beating her beak on the bars.
I will remember your hands between
soothing the distance,
and how my magpie heart sang
against the bars of yours.
Like the ocean into the moat of a sandcastle
I don’t mean for it to crumble.
I’ll carry it within me and other things will be built here.
I no longer stretch myself
like I stretch into
downward facing dog on the days everything hurts.
I extend my arms onto the floor and pretend
this never looked like begging.
I will curl around myself
like the tail of a cat.
Eventually I’ll roar,
eventually I’ll shake and keep moving forward.
My teeth are sliding out of the place my braces assigned them to years ago,
everything in me was made to disobey and go where they want.
I’ll sing the praise of my own sliding heart with my crooked mouth;
I’m leaving this braced position of cautiousness.
If I bite down on your neck now,
the marks probably wont match up in six months.
But so what?
We were never promised permanence.
But spring will come,
spring always comes.
And I will travel with my sliding heart,
and crooked teeth,
to line my imperfections up on your neck again
The first thing you drink is moonshine from plastic bottles and you’re not old enough
to realize this isn’t romantic, and nothing about this night tastes like how you expect the moon to.
You don’t have a single memory from that summer
that’s not tobacco stained.
The months your mouth tried to drink the moon
so the sun would never set again.
In all the pictures you’re a sunburnt shell off a girl,
holding a flower to the camera
and this willowy man.
He’s reaching out to you,
he knows the sun stays up forever every summer,
but somehow this year,
it feels like you’re to blame