There is a thing on my sleeve
My lesson in rejection dressed as love
You’re not enough
Not worthy of my love
Ugly, Paranoid, Neurotic
It’s this heart on my sleeve
Rejection dressed as love
I call him Daddy
I call him love

Now mother, you listen
How do I heal from losing the heart I first heard?
How do I lose the ghost of the voice I first loved?
Hope, cruel lover of my soul
Look what your grief birthed
Look what your death unearthed, mother
Twisted, driven, angry, strange, beautiful, genius, Hope.

Wounds heal
Glaze over with taunt skin in murky blends of colour you never donned before
A painful reminder
The voice of reason; “tread carefully dear heart, it is here you were first broken”
Severed relationships, lost friendships,
Those are the things wounds are made of
Parents, children, what vicious beasts
Nothing can recreate the marrow that once formed part of you,
You reach up to pluck something when memory mocks you,
You try to jump over a puddle but the stabbing pain says, ‘I have no leg.’
Please, just listen

Listen daddy,
I come in pieces
Debris from 1988
I come bruised
From her death in 98

Dear love
Sweet delicious lie that my heart lives for
I come to you with the jagged scars from the men I let into my soul and held hostage there
Trying to turn them into things he couldn’t be
My first love
Made out of all my grief
I come to you with shredded wrists from all the times I wore this wretched thing like chains around my sleeves
Love me back
Just this once.

Listen to me!
Memories don’t live
They refuse to leave
They don’t live like people do
Memories haunt you
They leave you breathless
Things you once loved hiding in the corners of your heart
Creep up on you when you least expect it
Damn memories
No decency to tap you on the shoulder
They won’t die
Not like people do
Not before they kill you

Now, dear heart listen
I only need one lesson in loving and being loved
Think back