United Kingdom

semi on hiatus because i have decided i am no writer

Message to Readers

sorry if this is just nonsense but I have the excuse at least that it was a free write??

cartography//free write 15/06

September 4, 2018


she's rummaging around at the back of her closet
when she finds them. five old books,
bound with reddened leather, slightly
yellowed at the sides. inside, page after page
of her sprawling spread, maturing in 
curves and flourishes from those early teenage
years, the sheltered ones, where heady
dreamtime made the words seem light upon
the page, to dawning adulthood, those 
barbed, heavy, refracted blades of black
ink, filled with the contaminated ripeness
of late-adolescent disillusionment. 

it's not a happy timeline: it's a timeline that takes shape
in the form of a man, a man she still sees, sometimes,
when she closes her eyes, or when she looks, quite
casually, into the looking glass. 

there are moments that brighten her face
like a child; she feels almost young again
as she reads of days spent running after him
across snow-dappled passage ways, old museums
which reminded her quite potently of his scent. 
and then there are the darker parts,
there are the midnight entries, the roots of the
desires she felt that scared her, the desires
she felt for self-destruction or oblivion,
or to give herself up to him for possession,
a bastardising betrayal of herself 
and history.
'people don't just leave, 
they don't just go away' - a phrase repeated,
page after page,
with infantile insistence,
with nursery-rhyme rhythm,
heard more by pillow than parents
or friends because of the shame of it,
and the conception that was borne
walking home on one entirely average night
in the dark, the dim orange light of the receding bar
still casting haloed goldness across her cheeks:
'i love him'. 

as she reads the words her eyes begin to swell, quite unexpectedly.
she's still naïve: she had thought the tide of pain that came
with his name would thin with the decades. she finds, quite
inconveniently, that it, or perhaps he, is impossible to forget. 

but there were lessons to be learned from youth,
a thousand collected allegories, a patchwork of
experience, telling her never to fall
for a fool (perhaps a thing she never fully understood),
reminding her of the ease with which faith
can turn to onolatry, teaching her that honesty -
using those three words - can be hamartia. 
she still hears his voice sometimes in 
fathers hurrying children down the street, sees
his smile in mysterious men walking down
passageways and allows her cheeks, quite quietly, 
to redden. but she's no longer seventeen, and those lessons
were reserved for the earlier, wild years, for the 
gradient from pleasure to reproachful pain,
for what she saw as the fall and now sees as 
grateful escape: the first time she comprehended
that her desires must remain achingly,
grievingly unfulfilled. 

dawn is unfurling shyly across the horizon 
by the time she puts the books away. the last page
turned, read and re-read, she recognises in it
the dim edge of conclusion, the recognition of something
she would perhaps never understand, but she would
allow to reach out to her, most humanly,
and take her hand with a flash of something
almost, quite viscerally


See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • engi_aek

    This is one of the most gorgeous, beautiful pieces I have ever read. Wow. I don't even have any words to describe how it made me feel. I feel that it might be something narrating my future life. This is incredible, and I want to read it every day, wow again. xxxxx

    over 2 years ago
  • Gabriel Goodwin

    This is beautiful! Thanks for writing this, and it's not nonsense, it's amazing!!!

    over 2 years ago