You have my word

One word can change your life.

Tag: travel

The places I have travelled, you

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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.

You are much more diamond than dirt

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I pick you up like a diamond, like all I’ve been doing is digging and here you are. Small. The kind of size I can comfortably fit my arms and dreams around. Glistening. Those eyes that absorb more than their fair share of colour and light. But life isn’t fair and you were cut for more.

If I said, “You’re a diamond in the rough,” you’d probably give me a slap. I might like it but that’s cliché, lazy writing and you deserve better than that. So here goes: You are a whole fucking mine and my face is covered in dirt.

Like Maya, I’m convinced you have diamonds at the meeting of your thighs… and beneath your tongue… and in that smile, those lips. The sentence is possibly less poetic but the sentiment still exists.

I don’t know much about diamonds because my experience is mostly in dirt, but I do know a good thing when I see it. You are a good thing. You are good – not made less by the places you’ve been. A diamond’s value lies simply in what it is – who you are. You are diamond.

Precious. Picked up. Protected. Preserved. Just right, but not perfect. Perfect would be untruthful and far too unattainable for this pile of dirt.

It would be my pleasure, my dear, treasure, to hold you in my hand or cradle you until the right hands have you. Hopefully mine. But I have all time, and us, to see where you land up.

A pendant perhaps, bringing only good luck. A deeply set ring of “I do” – I do want to traverse this dirt road with you.

My diamond. Sharp and rough, uncut and not giving a fuck. That’s my favourite thing about you.

On slow love and instant coffee

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She reads the instructions on instant coffee labels and leaves bite marks on shoulders between sheets and sweat. She is not one for you to try understand but rather one to be understood by, for when she plants you in her nail beds like seeds you will never cease to grow.

She will leave you wild, but not unkempt for she knows you can fend for yourself. She also knows that the vines you keep hidden should never grow thick and twisted enough to trip and strangle the ones closest to you. She is closer still – a stem, your spine. She is in the fibre and fight of your roots burrowing, burying what is gone because together… together you rest in peace with roots that run this deep.

You will bud and blossom into everything she touches. And she will touch you. Not like Midas turning everything into gold, but turning you green and full of life. She will uproot what’s dead and convince even your weeds to grow flowers and dandelions. She will pull out the thorns like an affliction you’ve carried far too long – too afraid to let go, too afraid of having empty hands.

With her you will never lack; you will never be empty-handed or thirsty for water and adventure. She sows life back into you from the soil where you soul sleeps. In letting her prune, you are learning to give up control.

While this might explain the bite marks on your shoulder, it will also explain the parts of yourself you don’t recognise. It will explain how you become comfortable in being quiet before the storm – preparing to weather the chaos in your branches and host the thrash alongside the beating of your heart. Bleed the noise into your delicate collapsible veins. Know that the risk exists, that the possibility of being poisoned is very real but worth it.

So when she offers to make you coffee the morning after, and you know it is not French press, slow-brewed or freshly-ground, do not doubt her. Do not second guess her judgement or retract your trust like a daffodil in too harsh sunlight. Let her soak into your skin.

Let her nourish you, regardless of the coffee. She will feed you full and then feast on you as both her garden to tend to and her greener pasture in the South. She will look after you and lose herself in your promise. She will never neglect the tender trimming nor will she get tired of the great outdoors. You are great. You are growing. You are giving.

She is grateful. So she kisses you.

I am powerful because I can be broken

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I believe that some people were made to break things. I believe that others were just meant to break – to break down – to break apart – to be broken. Like how a child builds a castle made of sand close enough to tempt the ocean waves. The truth is, it was never going to stand but they wait until the water can no longer hold itself back – till it lashes at the structure in swells and still has the nerve to go back and lick the wounds with smaller ripples. I have never seen such joy derived from such destruction. The smile on that child’s face when the walls are torn back to earth like it was his own will that did the breaking.

I am that sandcastle. I am built of things that were never meant to stand. Others have built what they thought would last, filling me with stones and shells. But the waves will come. And they do. And they crash. And they tumble. And they tear down. And they break. They break me. Everyone is a wave waiting to break me. I am made to break – to break down – to break apart – to be broken. I wait.

I wait to be watered down in the most violent way possible like the sea swallows the sand and eventually the child. Everyone is a wave and I do not stand a chance. I do not stand a chance against the man on the corner of the street watching me walk by on my way home. I do not stand a chance against the crowd with gleaming teeth outside the bar I stumble out of. I do not stand a chance against the women I let into my bed with other people’s skin still under their fingernails. I do not stand a chance against myself with my twisted hands and shamed skin made of sand.

I was one of those born with the power to be broken and not to do the breaking. Yes, a power to be broken – that’s a power – a super power even! Can you imagine having to build yourself up after everything has warred against you in hopes of tearing you down? Sometimes they win; sometimes I lose. But I get up again and build, and do not allow myself to crumble until the next wave hits. Power is getting up over and over despite the knowledge that destruction will come.

I am powerful because I can be broken. I am powerful because I do not leave myself this way – I pick myself up every day. I am powerful because I know I have done it myself. I am powerful because, in spite of their best attempts to crush me in the worst way, I do not back down. I am powerful because even though I know I was not built to stand – being made of sand – I plant myself as firmly as I can until they come. I am powerful because I do not break them in the same way. I am powerful because I have been broken and I continue to stand.