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Tag: desperation

Longing in brief

I lie here
Wondering what you feel like in the twilight
When your body
Is neither awake nor asleep
Or how you look
When the moon is full enough to briefly share its horizon with the Sun.

It’s a prison
To know you are somewhere in this world
Yet for me
You exist solely
As aching dreams inside my longing for you
And within a multitude of made-up and edited memories of you.

To think
There’s a weak and diluted shadow of you living
In almost every thought I’ve ever had since meeting you
A sliver of you
Has spread like a stain into almost all of me
Replacing what I used to be
With something I no longer am –
Nor will I ever be.

I’ve become
Nine parts fiction
And one part
Exasperated wishing that I’d never caught your gaze
For that briefest moment
Three years ago in September, at the corner of a busy street at midday.

Narcissus & Echo

Oh, it was beautiful

When I had but you to fill

When I was one part shadow

Two parts echo

A gecko on the walls of your heart

Through your halls I roamed

Silent from the start

Quiet till the end

I called you home

I called you friend


I was hauntingly unaware

Of my own hapless hollowing

My life spent in following

Your trace element


And so it went

You violence defined me

Your voice redefined me


I was always behind

Bewilderedly blind

I moved to your music

Unconsciously, deliciously, un-nutritiously, and viciously confined

Masochistly misaligned


I was happy to be

For all eternity

Empty infinitely

Forever and ever




The impact of a heartbeat’s echo

In an empty chest

Is hard to ignore


Too prominent to dominate

Too consistently insistent

Hard to quieten


It made me feel twice as alive

And infinitely more aware

Of my undeniable mortality


While your anger pulled me

Hither and thither

It un-fooled me


You’d failed to consider

That in hollowness

Sound is not swallowed

But amplified

Impossible to hide


You had me so empty

And so miniscule

That I almost drowned

In the glorious sound

Of a majestic echo


In the limitless possibilities of my own big bang

I rang and resounded

I sang, unbounded

My freedom new-founded

And I lost sight of your face

Within that sepulchral space

I ceased calling you friend

I stopped living for you


Because I never knew I didn’t end…

But now I do.


I am waiting for the stars to lead me
Away from this late night double-feature
But I just can’t get these scars to leave me

Our time was too short
For me to realise
That a five-star last resort
Was all I was to you

I should have been the wiser
I should have seen the womaniser
In time to stop myself from
Building you inside me

I fell in love with the beauty in the bridges
And the richness of the ridges
Connecting you to me

Can’t you see
How this poetry
Is defined by everything I’ve ever laid my heart on
Every race I’ve ever had a head start on
Every game I’ve ever played a part in
And every end of a new beginning of mine starting?

How can I wake up
Into a new day
When all I have left of you still belongs to this one?

How can I be redone
When I can’t even say
The sounds that make up the music of my name?

How am I supposed to move on
When everything still looks the same?

I’ve bid farewell to the vows we’ll never take
And I’ve said goodbye to the children we’ll never make

Yet I will wait for you indefinitely
And like a dream that’s blown apart
I will wait for you
At the bottom of my heart

Wonde wonderwerk

Ek het ons storie geskryf
Met ‘n lem op my lyf
Die son was te helder daai dag
Vir my hartklop om langer vir joune te wag.

Ek het die mes soos ‘n kwas vas gehou
En diep snye geskilder – ‘n van Gogh vir jou.

Ons verhaal het verskyn
Op my vel – lyn by lyn
En dit was helder – so rooi, so vol lewe daai pyn
Ek was seker dat die seer in my siel sal verdwyn.

Die letters van jou naam
Het bebloede kuns geword
Op al my breekbare vlaktes.

Soos ‘n straatbrak het ek jou vertrou
Waar is jy nou?
Hoe waar is jy nou?

Daai dag het die son so helder geskyn
En daar was net te veel kleur in ons samesyn
Ek het jou les diep in my spiere gekerf
En my lyf met jou lou-warm liefde geverf.


Hold me like a promise;

Break me like a vow.

For today I am as fragile as the secrets of a child,

And as desperate as a dream dressed in dust.

Ek dra jou soos ‘n sonsak om my skouers

Droog en skaamteloos soos ‘n woestyn
Het ek geraamteloos verdwyn
Agter jou albaster oë.

Ek kon sien
Waar die holte en die oorloop
Van ‘n leeftyd se hoop en verlang
Jou vas vang.

En so raak ek toe verlore
Tussen die miriade woorde
Wat jy nie verby
Jou lippe kan kry.


I tried to recall the rhyme our bodies made
As we laid under the setting moon
And you hummed the tune
Of an old cartoon

Your whispers made me weak
Your words set me free
Under a star-filled canopy
Love appeared to me
In the shade of a tree

The poetry in our sighs
Could’ve won a Nobel prize
Your three fingers on my thigh
In the form a C chord –
A Grammy award

Our friction wrote a dictionary
You made me feel less ordinary
You were my best
And I still believe your chest
Was made to fit my cheek

But now we don’t even speak
You left before the week
Was over
The four-leafed clover
That I found in my hair
Never warned me it was to be a rebound affair

I was cheated out of luck
In the end it was just
To help you pretend
That the woman you went home to
Hadn’t forgotten how to love you

But in trying to erase
The pain you still had to face
You hurt me instead

Well, you’re still in my head
You’re on my lips, my tongue, my hips

I’ve washed, I’ve scrubbed, I’ve shaved
But I still crave your hands, your smile
You made my life worthwhile

The memory of your breath
Has made me blind
Now all I have is death on my mind

On a bridge
I stare at the cars below
I dare myself to swallow
My pointless expectation

I feel a sense of elation
As my feet leave the foundation
I lift my empty hands to the sky
I’m done asking why

I just wish I could’ve known
A little more about you
It might have helped me live
A life without you


My onderklere lê versprei
‘n Weerkaatsing van my

Twee g-strings in die cubby-hole
‘n Push-up in my handsak
Daars ‘n pantie oor die spiëlkas
En ‘n sykous opgevromel in my agterste broeksak

Waar is ek veronderstel om jou tussen in te vind?

Cullinary creation

I didn’t mean
To weep into your tea
I just wanted a piece of me
Inside you

I not quite sure why
I cried into your stir-fry
Maybe it was dry
And needed salt

It’s not my fault
I didn’t mean to wail
Into your ice-cream
And share my dreams
With a frozen milk dessert

But do you know
How much hurts
Everytime I think if Key Lime pie?
And how you said goodbye
Between bites

Its not right
But I can’t untie
Your noose from around my neck

And god knows I’ve tried
Not to think
About having anything to drink

I’ve tried to go off food
But it doesn’t do me any good

You made me feel less ordinary
Your caresses were legendary
You were the cherry
On top of my Sundae
But I guess I always knew
You’d leave someday

Its true – I always bite off
More than I can chew

I choose you
To be the casserole
Of my soul

I wanna take our lovin’
And stick it in the oven
And turn it up to 220 degrees
Cover it in cheese
And let it bake

I want it to get stuck between you teeth
Show up as a chocolate beneath
You pillow
And watch you grow
Kilo by kilo

You killed my sleep

My skin still retains the heat of your breath
As you recited Macbeth
Into my hair

It’s not fair
That all I am is the vibration of your words
Against my breast as you confessed
And now your sudden escape from our life is causing dischord

Your side of the bed still remembers your shape
And I can still hear your voice in my pillow
Its coming through the walls, billowing the curtains, relentlessly it calls

The willow in the back has been weeping leaves on the ground
Remembering the sound of you mumbling in your sleep
Or how you used to pray the lord your soul to keep

Nothing wants to grow
Not since you had to go
The change of the season
Is just not enough reason

To exist without your protection
The weathervane has lost direction
Its pointing up at heaven.
The sundial is stuck at a quarter to seven.

And your laughter resounds in the silences between my screams
The volume of you keeps adjusting itself in my dreams

I’ve seen a trace of your ghost on my face
Dulling my complexion
I’ve seen a reflection of you in my tea

The memory of your name hurts my lips
While my fingers struggle coming to grips
With grasping emptiness

You were my country, my planet, my undiscovered star
You were my pain before death, my colour of rain, my smoky midnight bar

You sold my ability to hold any other person close
You’ve put back the worry in my smile
And the wrinkles that were gone for a while
You’ve darkened my skies
Set free my butterflies
And I remain in a cage devoid of my senses
Cradling a souvenir of your lies and pretences

I was the shadow attached to your feet
And whether you’d walk, run or dance
I’d always keep your beat
Its dark in here
And hollow
It’s empty
With no one to follow

You plagiarised
The shape of my eyes
And you took away the taste of your love
From my lips
You even dissolved your fingerprints
From my hips

Can you stop
The never-ending cycle
Of my heart breaking?

Can you cease
This unrelenting chaos
Your absence has been creating?