Ok I won’t lie, I’m really really scared to put this out there to you all. This poem is two years old and it’s the first poem I ever wrote. Actually, kind of the only poem I’ve ever written, aside from my last piece for this blog. It took me months to write because I kept stopping and starting and probably the reason why I’ve not been able to write anything since because this poem was so fucking real.
At the time, I was very depressed and had never been in a relationship. Sexual encounters, to whatever degree, were for me always extremely intimate and personal. Even if I had only met the person that night, I found myself becoming emotionally attached. So when there inevitably was no reply to my text or someone casually declined going out for a drink the following week, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. What did I do? Why does this keep happening? More importantly – why the fuck do I care so much about someone I barely know? That question really, really angered me. I felt an immense sense of hatred towards myself and was ashamed of my body.
This cycle repeated itself for what felt like forever. It started when I began experimenting sexually as a teenager and only got worse when I actually started having sex. I desperately wanted to be the person that could do one-night stands and depersonalise the situation but I was a hopeless romantic. I had been brought up to believe that sex could be something casual and fun but I just couldn’t get there in my mind and because of that, I felt fucking abnormal. How can someone share my body with another person in that way and then never speak to them again? It wasn’t until after my first breakup that I was able to have sex with someone and not feel emotional about it the morning after. To not dwell on what had happened and beat myself about it if it didn’t lead to anything. But God, it took me so long to get there.
Today, I have an amazing boyfriend. He’s the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend.
And I wish I could tell my 19 year old self that. I wish I could tell her that she is worth it and the morning after isn’t always going to be painful and humiliating. You won’t always have a voice in the back of your head reducing your encounters to failures. In fact, some day you’ll have fantastic sex with a stranger and be able to smile about it the week after. You’ll be able to feel comfortable in your body and sharing that with someone. Most importantly, there will come a day when you wake up the morning after and you won’t be alone. Someone is there, holding you close.
The morning after you held me in the palm of your hand,
You used both to push me away.
Your fingers traced my body like a map, knew every road,
In your arms I burned, I didn’t know what for,
But I didn’t need a reason, in that moment I was yours
And that’s something right? That wasn’t in my head
Because I wake up next to you feeling alive
But you’re already dead.
You don’t want more. You’ve had your share.
I mean we only met last night so why do I care?
With someone else it’ll happen again.
You’ll kiss again,
Give yourself again,
Let his hands explore your frame again,
I feel pain again but maybe I won’t next time.
I’m like a counterfeit King Midas,
Everything I touch doesn’t turn to gold but to shit
And I’m scratching at these embers, there are blisters on my hands
And I’m not angry with you, please understand
Cause you don’t owe me anything, I should owe it to myself
To be happy on my own terms and not to rely on someone else
But it’s getting harder to live in this body every single day
And there’s only so much pain which a blade can take away
And I’d rather feel something briefly than just remain numb
Scared to see this person I’ve become,
Alone in the darkness of my room,
Where the silence is deafening.
I stare at stars and my eyes burn.
I want love but I don’t fall in, I just fall and won’t learn.
Next boy is tobacco, knuckles and smirk,
He says he can’t do this because there’s someone else.
But at least he’ll hold your hand.
He says he can’t do this but I don’t dare let go.
He says he can’t do this but I don’t want to know.
The morning after, in the filtering light of day,
Hair matted with sweat, you say you can’t stay.
And I don’t ask why because I can already see.
Join those who’ve washed their hands of the stain that is me.