The Pyromaniac In Me
You were a candle I’d held for seven years now.
So drawn to the hypnotic flame
Watched so intently that even when I closed my eyes
the image was still there,
burnt into my retina,
scorched into my memory.
I have cared for
sheltering it with my cupped hand
from strong winds,
and invisible draughts;
even my own stuttering breath.
I have felt the familiar burn
and pleasant sting of melting wax
trickle over my fingers and pool in the crevices of my hand,
overflowing and dripping down my arm.
The pyromaniac in me
so proud and entranced.
Always turned to you
wanting to tend our flame.
Then after all these years,
I can smell the sharp smoke of a smouldering wick
I don’t know if you burnt yourself out
or if I snuffed you out myself.
The light is gone and my eyes swim in the newfound darkness.
Yet that familiar image rises,
still burnt into my memory,
a bright negative
spectre of a flame.
I try to blink it away
and it soon begins to fade.
I know with time my sight will eventually return
without this ghost.
I am aware of my hand,
caked with puddles and rivers of wax.
I begin to peel it away.
Pulling it from my palm.
Picking it from my fingers.
Ripping it from the fine hairs on my arm
and digging it out from under my nails.
It is a long
and painful process,
but oddly satisfying too.
I will be thorough,
I want to be rid of it all.
I uncover my hand,
whose muscles barely recall a purpose,
before holding you.
Though the wax has lifted
its lingering residue is hard to shift.
Small scars have revealed themselves
on my freshly exposed skin.
Old burns and blisters
that I’ll always carry
because I will never truly be rid of you
and if I’m honest
I don’t want to be.
You have gotten under my skin
and left you mark
in all the ways I was terrified that you would.
But I know I prefer it that way.
Fighting Back The Ocean
It comes in waves now
grief, sadness, hopelessness, anger,
not to drown under it all,
not to be caught off-guard.
Being knocked and beaten by endless wave after wave,
trying not to loose my footing,
and be swept under.
I’m scared if I slip
and find myself suddenly beneath,
being pummelled and tumbled by the waves and currents,
I’ll forget which way is up,
which way to go for air.
Mistakenly swimming further downwards
into the dark,
where the my ears begin to ring
my lungs begin to ache.
the pressure builds,
threatening to collapse me entirely.
So I fight back the ocean
threatening to spill from me at any moment.
Just for now.
I know I can’t hold it back forever
And I don’t plan to.
The time will come when I’ll have to surrender
but it will be on my own terms.
And though this terrifies me
I am beginning to remember
that I have always felt at home in the water.