I’ll Never Hold Him

His hands are points of certainty

The only things I know,

a salve against the burns

that keep me tied.

He smiles

Green teeth, yellow or white,

His breath is the only outside,

The only breeze from beyond


Only sometimes,

I pretend I’m by a pond.

He’s sitting on a blanket,

bread between his knees,

his fingers tickle mine

but even here,

by this pond,

on this blanket,

with this bread,

I don’t want him,


His voice promises me,

one day he’ll let me go,

only if I’m a good girl,

a girl who is enjoying herself,



tell him I want more.

He draws me pictures with his

cigarette light.

A dog, a rabbit, a knife.

He draws them for me,

while I’m on the floor,

listening to my bones bleed.

I remember my learnings,

and give a little laugh,

even though it makes me

cry, and wish that I was

flying through velvet,

diving through


He tells the baby to stop

crying, it’s stopping him from sleeping

I thrash against the ropes

that cut and burn some more,

but I can’t walk,

my legs tingle and slide,

they’re wet,

there’s no strength left,

it’s too soon and the dark is laughing,

Laughing at my empty belly.

Laughing while it’s crying.



right back at the black

‘cos it still thinks I have that piece

all humans have

that gives a flying monkey fuck

about getting laughed at

by the


There’s a crunching noise I’ve never heard before.

It steals away the laughter and the crying,


and in the silence, the noise is terrifying,

the silence has no puppy whoofs,

or thud,


thud of first steps.

No nothing or anything,

a little it with no life now.

And a twig snaps somewhere inside

that when I was taken from my own mummy’s side,

From beneath her velvet scarf, in an aisle of bread

As she saw the chocolate that slipped my grip

Did she hear the noise I do now?

Has she heard it since?

His teeth are by my face again

his hands are wet, sticky,


The only things that are certain.


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