Leaving Never Trips On The Welcome Mat
I’m at my Mother’s cold suburban house tonight. Eating liquorice and looking through these things I have from when I was still at high school. I look much the same, more defined maybe, with age. Spent twenty minutes reading through a saved conversation between myself and a boy I liked who was trying to get me to take my shirt off for him on webcam.
I mean, I think I actually did it. And I think I have a half naked photograph of him printed out and stuck to the inside of a ‘diet-diary’ I had at sixteen, with something terrible like ‘girls like you don’t get guys like this’. Girls like you, I said. Quite depersonalised, I suppose. Like if I didn’t claim ownership to myself then it wasn’t my fault, whatever shortcomings I percieved this body to have or this face to have etc. And flicking through these photos is I suppose like looking through old love letters that you keep to know that that brand of emotion is possible, but they still make you cringe. There wasn’t really anything that wrong with me, really. I wasn’t attractive but there probably wasn’t anything so untoward about me that would warrant all the dirty things I imagined being said about me.
This wasn’t actually the tangent I was looking to go down.
This is something I found that I must have written at sixteen. It’s the worst kind of love letter but it’s mine.
I always wanted freckles
As you made me a cup of apple and chamomile tea
Your explanation simple,
If you were sick, that’s what you’d feel like.
You blamed the boy down the road,
Pushing him until he fell into the gutter.
His apologies were heard all the way up the street
But his reputation was so tarnished,
No help for him
You peeled the whites from the mandarins
And called me your baby.
I could take no more of your hidden sympathy
And begged you to leave,
So I could cradle my empty stomach
And feel hollow without your praise.
Nothing has changed.
The white coats in the doorway,
They blink at my pain.
They have a reason to be empty.
They do not hold a care for my concern
I still hold your hand
Crossing street after street,
Like I never will
With tiny feet and hands,
That look just like me.