Nettles

It’s not that I thought it would all be perfect. Hand in hand with you under the morton bay fig. Stepping over roots like the backs of sea monsters pushing up through the wet earth. You pressed me up against the cool bark and ran your hands along the inside of my dress.

I didn’t know how it would be but I knew that your eyes like a glacial river held me.

We walked soaking through the storm, my leather pockets filled with water. Stealing softening cigarettes from each other’s mouths and blowing smoke between the plummeting hail stones.

Your favored question has been, ‘if you’d known all, would you have still said yes?’ And I can’t say for certain. For these lonely cold nights sitting with my nails clenching the cushions, a snoring little body tucked beside me and another smaller than a lamington tucked inside, have held me aching and battered over the edge. The pace of my heart is a touch slower, and I don’t expect magnificent invincible love.

Nights of ash and beer and lighter wallets, ragged weeping in the doorframe. I couldn’t look at you, couldn’t hold you, as you cried enough to break your own heart. I can’t save you: these pale arms and freckled cheeks no match for the shards you use to tear up your own face. 

Yet something tells me that these thistles notwithstanding, your hands would still have pulled me as the moon pulls the tides. Your salty knuckles gripping me firm. 

Published by chloeroselilly

Samples of my poetry, fiction and personal essays in amongst real life

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