Notre Dame

collapsed bones
under history’s
weight

our lady
our sacred lady

flames rising from
your belly
as hearts break
on the riverbank

Howl

it rains all day
we call it poetry
as we soak in it
marching for
our mother
the one we pollute
and rape
with machines
that penetrate deep
into her core
and we still
have the audacity
to call home

enough is enough
we say
and we walk
to the beating
of the drum

sometimes a wave
of cries washes over the crowd
and the boy next to me

howls
howls
howls

while the girl
pours us tea
to keep
our bellies
warm

Nowhere

you cry
on the one three six
to nowhere

and it is painful
and raw 
and breathtakingly 
beautiful

your salt 
runs down my fingers
as i feel
the eight months
which passed 
between us
press hard
on both
our shoulders

the one three six
continues
to nowhere
when i ask
if i can hold you

and you nod
and say
you are the only one
who can

The Retirement Home

“You’ve got granny curtains,” my sister tugs at the fabric hanging in front of my new window a bit. They are white, and semi see-through, and they look exactly like the ones our nan used to have, except hers had crazy ornaments and little angel statues in front of them.

“All you need now is a geranium.” We laugh, and she tells me she is happy for me even though she doesn’t understand the choices I make. This, to me, is what sisterly love looks like. We had worked hard to get here.

I shine a light at her husband who is standing on a chair we had pinched from the restaurant downstairs. “A little to the left Becks, you’re shining in my face. I move the smartphone in the opposite direction. My brother in law tinkers a little more and then comes down for the chair. I hug him. “Thank you so much for installing that light, I cleaned the place yesterday and couldn’t see a thing.” “No kidding,” my sister smiled as she rubbed her finger across the dusty windowsill.

It’s my first night of sleeping in a retirement home. I am thirty-four years old, and my life is in shambles again. Or so I thought. Truth is that life did not go the way I wanted it to go. Instead, it went where it needed to go, where I needed to go. Home again, after five years of living abroad. Back home again to heal.

Mottingham

post no bills
tell no lies

i am home
i am home
i am home

walk on the left
stand on the right

i am home
i am home
i am home

i love you
the wind howls
loud
as the rain
kisses my face

family
is where
you know
the key will be
under the mat
regardless

i am home
i am home
i am home

Portraits of Girls I Never Met

“The best portraits are the ones made with empathy. They are the ones that show you something of the inner life of the person portrayed, a glimpse into the worlds that hide behind appearances more easily grasped. This book is a collection of those glimpses, thoughts and feelings given by the hand of a writer who understands what it is like to be human. It’s all there, and it’s painful and beautiful.” – Sofia Romualdo

‘Portraits of Girls I never Met’ is a collection of short stories and poems dealing with loss, love and other growing pains.