You have my word

One word can change your life.

Tag: language

The places I have travelled, you


You say: you are poetry.

I say: you have me undone in three words.

You say: I don’t know what to say.

I say: don’t say anything.

You say: I am in love with a writer.

I say: I am in love with the sunrise. I am awake.

Like a train frames the movement of a bride on her wedding day,

so the sun only sets to frame the trail you leave in the darkness for me to find my way.

Your eyes. Like fireflies. Vibrant. Alive. Bright.

On my bucket list there stands: see the Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis.

That was before there was an us.

I could look at you and feel like I’d seen the world – like I’d met everyone there was to meet, like I’d tasted India and walked Rome and surfed Fiji and climbed Everest and loved every land I let my feet shake hands with.

Your hands. Like oak tree branches. Strong. They know their place. Safe.

I’m that chocolate lad. Not sweet like you’d think; that was never me.

I am dark, through and through.

I am my darkest when I am with you.

Bitter to those who aren’t accustomed to the taste, but you have let me melt on your tongue,

you have let my tongue melt the creases of your waist, the small of your back…

relax into me. I will hold you safe.

I don’t have fancy words to make you stay.

I don’t have instructions for a bad day.

I don’t know any languages other than my eyes to ask you not to leave.

I’ve never even been overseas.

Right now in this instance, it feels like we’re oceans apart so maybe that counts for something?

So when people ask me where I’ve been and what I’ve seen?

I’ll simply tell them I’ve travelled your spine, and scaled your ribs and held handfuls of breast

that I’m sure even the monks would profess

the gods made just for me.


This is not my home


I pray in my mother tongue to a God they call Father.

I feel like an orphan surrounded by a family I can’t yet call my own – my home.

This is not my home.

My body is not my home.

This body is not my home.

Follow the movement and embrace the chaos

This movement. This stillness. This progress. This oppression. This chaos. This peace. This flight. This fight. This strength. 

This fear. This noise. This quiet. This rage. This calm. This courage. This destruction. This unknown. 

This certainty. These lies. This truth. This pain. This numb. This paralysis. This movement. 

This stillness. This progress. This cycle. This end. 

Use your words, love, use your words


When I use my words I take back the power that I have given the silence. It’s not easy; it’s a wrestle to draw the words out of the depths. It’s painful trying to name the thing I least want to name. She reminds me gently: “Use your words, love, use your words.”

They don’t pour out as I would expect them to. I am no stranger to words and it frightens me that I don’t know which ones to use or what order to put them in. So the wrestle continues and I find myself in this vortex of stifling what really needs to be said. Until… I open my mouth and for the seconds stretch aeons before I utter the first sound. I say “sound” because the groan that escapes can’t be attributed as a full word just yet. Language is a series of sounds and it comforts me to think that if I make enough sounds I might eventually be able to make a word. “I wish it didn’t have to be this hard.”

I feel the mountains shake with these softly uttered words and this light shell heart and these shaking hands and this strained voice. I don’t offer much in the nine words that make it out, but I offer what I have. It’s not enough, but at least it’s something. My words now matter.

I have encroached a little bit into silent enemy territory; I have reclaimed some of what was taken from me. If I refuse to use my words, I refuse to own who I am – I refuse to acknowledge where I picked up what I now carry. When I speak, I am being true to who I am; I am giving myself a chance to make better – make right within myself.

In the words of Shane Koyczan, “Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis. Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard. One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context – if you find that no one is listening, be loud. Make noise. Stand in poise and be open.

That is the power that I am taking back from the silence.