“I think of / you getting older, surrounded by your /
children, the children I could never / give you.
I would have loved you for a / minor eternity, a major lifeline…”
I LOVE NICK LAIRD’S POEMS
(for my mother, father, sister, and brother)
I haven’t fallen in love in eight
hours. I wish I could fly out of this
room to any place that I could call home
and sanctuary away from this cold
winter’s dream, thinking about what
you did not say out of the blue, and I think of
the Parisian-rooftops of Rilke, my sister’s
Prague, her Lulu, and I feel lonely,
and sad all of the time, and sometimes, just
sometimes life feels like death, and
death feels like life, like a tsunami,
like a tidal wave amongst all of the cars,
the subways, the cousins who don’t
remember my birthday, and you’re
not here. You’re never here. And I
think I’m starting to realise that you
don’t love me, you never loved me.
All this time my sub-conscious was
in love with difficult men, men set
in their own habits, and ways, older,
wiser, sexier, more confident, more
vulnerable. You brought joy into my life,
you were perfection, and quality, instead
of quantitative analysis. I think of
you getting older, surrounded by your
children, the children I could never
give you. I would have loved you for a
minor eternity, a major lifeline. Tell
me what you want me to do now. You
want me to forget you. I want you to,
to forgive me for loving you, when
another woman has given you the daughter
I never could have. I want to eat meat
now, after that bowls of fire and I’m
fragile now during the day, but especially the
night. I can’t sleep, my love. You’re
funny. You’re a funny guy, thinking
about all the things you said. I ran
away from you, afraid to love you, afraid of everything,
I guess you married the most suitable
woman in the world. The loveliest, not the
gypsy, not the most dangerous woman in
the world, not the flame-thrower, not
the girl who falls in love with rock stars,
and film stars, and dead poets, and who
worships suicide-related deaths by female
poets. Yes, I hear voices. Yes, I see
every kind of hallucination. Yes, I bleed,
like an animal, like a taproot, like a touchy-feeling woman
for you, but in the middle of the night
I think of you, your British accent, and
how I loved you with my whole heart,
my entire being, and you chose to fall in
love with a moment, a mood, a cause, an
issue of temporary faith. You did not
want this dreamer to love you back. And I wonder
if you’re happy, because I’m not coping.
I NEVER WANT TO FALL IN LOVE EVER AGAIN
(for my mother, father, sister, brother, nephews, and niece)
I think I’ve come to the end of my
road, I’ve nothing left to say about
anything. Therapy is therapy, both good, both evil.
So many waves of boy crazy, so little time.
So many dances, forests, careless whispers.
So many damaged people. I’m broken
on the inside, you can see it in my eyes.
My heart is beating just for you, it is a
social butterfly, the dew on your lips makes
me thirsty, and hungry, and I long for the
rural countryside of Swaziland, the mountains,
the greenness of the valleys where I was
educated, and I miss studying your profile,
if you want to know how much I miss
you just read everything I’ve ever written.
I’m renovating my house, I’m putting
you in order because you don’t love me
Anymore, you say you just want to read me,
You say you just want to drive away from
here, move to mainland-China, teach
English there, with your beautiful girlfriend,
who will also become your wife, and the
mother of your children. You don’t love
me anymore, you declare, you declare, you
declare. I took you for granted, under-
appreciated you, undermined you, but
I did love you in my own way, you know.
I never want to marry, never want to have
children, I never want to fall in love ever,
ever, ever again. This is not a debate, please
understand I don’t love you anymore, and
this is not a discussion up for grabs, I don’t
want to talk to you ever again in my life.
And, yes, you hurt me, and yes, when I call
You, you never return my phone calls because
You say you don’t have data. You’re a boy,
And I’m a woman who doesn’t believe in
Public displays of affection. Marry her, go
On, marry your girl. I don’t care anymore.
Hurry up, and impregnate her, so I can
Become part of her-story and your his-story.
I don’t care how many times I’ve been
Hurt in love, and how the men, they leave
And have babies with someone else more
Beautifully-suitable for survival. And I’m
Not the fittest of the bunch, no woman of
Iron am I made of, but it is a real winter’s
Day today, cold out, and there’s no sun, no
Winter sun to speak of. I’ll forget all about
You, and you’ll forget all about me. That is
The way of the world, we hunt, we gather.
You’re still beautiful, you’re still handsome,
and that will never change. And the love of
my life is dead to me, and I am dead to him.
So, I write and I put this narrative together
for him, for you, and please don’t read
between the lines and think that I still have
feelings for you, you made your choice, and
the love of my life made his choice. I’m a
saboteur now. My arms and legs are branches.
Hold my fingers, squeeze them, hold those twigs for a
little while longer, I’ll put the gun down, for now.
I’ll put the rope away, I’ll abandon all sin,
my laws, my rules, my beautiful trauma.
Poetry: Abigail George
Photo by prottoy hassan on Unsplash