what does it mean to stroll down cobbled roads with processed words to have money then lose it to have friends lovers exes cousins aunts grandparents mothers fathers and then lose them like losing the change from a tenner after buying a pack of cigarettes to have recycled friends recycled lovers recycled thoughts time is something you always have all of us each of us have lots and lots and lots and lots of it yet there is never enough nothing none of it all of it gone used up on something or another those wasted moments wasted minutes wasted years all of them nothing i see a park the side of a terraced street mothers calling childrens names whinging crying scraped knees lipstick kisses snowmen snow angels sneaky rocks in pressed ice tears and blood thick stained shared laughter and shared moments gone to waste all of them nothing nothing nothing nothing life is a stain a tricky bugger you cant get out of those white linen trousers mother bought bus tickets money pieces of a memory sewn together in the back of the schoolyard avoiding glances awkward eye contact back of the class avoiding the questions you arent nothing nothing feeble replies to unkind remarks and slaps with large adult hands against small cheeks fists swollen eyes glimpses of things you shouldnt see in the study threats from husky male voices drunk on dark foul smelling liquor a sneaky smoke of something you shouldnt be smoking with a friend you shouldnt be friends with a swig of the drink from the bottle heads rushing flashing lights fingers touching skin on skin the first kiss and cheeky grasps of tits hearty sloppy fumbling with hands and voices i think i like you laughter blood between my legs stained the perfect white sheets that stark red mark in a pure white sky i was a woman now scissors sliced into red hair flushed down the drain silence in the exam hall coughing scribbling thinking hard about the answers everything always had answers that big letter awarded to me with looks of disappointment thats
the rest of my life decided coughing in smoke filled living rooms disgust dimly lit telly too loud white smiles blank stares fingers on small rectangles tap tap tap tap nothing nothing nothing
not an answer to my question what does it all mean lots of tears arguments with smashed bottles of wine laying on the floor in the kitchen she found out about the study slit the bottom of my foot raised voices and fierce questions without answers why would you do this to me i thought you loved me thought i thought you loved her she thought you thought you wouldnt didnt in the study younger model i see a room ageing damp walls cold floors carpet rippled like waves in the ocean thin pillows thin blanket assignments from older male lecturers wearing cheap suits and thick rimmed glasses swallowed the small white star music bodies pressed against bodies sick alcohol stained dressed colour draining into each other faces merging into each other nothing nothing nothing for i am no one in this mass of mass of mass of mass of blank dancing crotch pressed up against me fingers creeping over my breasts hardness sick dizzy reeling stomach swirling hands off ill break your fingers men reaching out to touch me like i was a goldfish at a fun fair floating around in the plastic bag bouncing in the car on the way home you find them dead in the morning goldfish not men headaches marks on my skin where roaming hands had touched touched touched they touched my with their long pointed fingers reaching into my womb to find to find to find i see a computer screen numbers arranged in neat little rows like a shakespearean sonnet tired coffee breaks with mindless gossip about the man who hadnt been to work for months depression it was whispered as if the word itself would strike you dead depression quiet words with me in his office lots and lots of quiet words oh so quiet no no no no no no no i don’t want to youre not you have a its there between your legs i dont im gay nothing nothing nothing oh yes im of course sorry sorry lovers meetings hands clasped together and strolls on beaches whispered confessions over phone calls in the dark of the night another room this one mine nothing nothing nothing feelings etched into my chest stomach and loins sharing secrets and kisses thoughts and feelings dirty desires in the back of the car sudden suspicion no more late night phone calls or shared kisses nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing incomplete empty spaces long swigs of cheap vodka from old mugs wilting flowers trembling hands long loud cries in the night time i wanted to catch up with her to keep my hands on her my wings were clipped with blunt scissors shattering everything must be temporary nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing rebuilding broken foundations fumbling for pieces of a self long forgotten i picked up the crumbled discarded wasted versions of a self that was burnt to pieces growing older letting my hair grow long this thing i called me i couldn’t hold me together i dreamt about kissing her thighs words couldnt describe that longing I didnt fall apart not completely i didnt want someone else to come and fill in the gaps of me that someone else had taken i with my own hands reassembled the broken sections breathed laughed smiled cried i am no one nothing no one a moment a saint a sinner a lover a friend a person aspirin bus tickets coffee receipts a walk on the sand its in between your toes its cold on your soles the seagulls are crying
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ailish Annie James is an English literature graduate who is looking for work in the Welsh countryside. She would like to go to Japan to teach English. Ailish wrote this poem as a special project for Typishly, for which we are grateful. Read her story Falling to Bits on Typishly.