swallow down the blood, darling

it’s nothing personal when i clench your jaws together

                you’re this casual disaster in blue moonlight, you know?

                i used to think the stars suited you, but now i think they wash you out

                               the bruises under your eyes don’t make you look distinguished

                               they just make you look tired

i never knew how to pronounce your name in a way that would make you light up

i wanted a firework on the fourth of july, but you just fizzled out

               noon blankets and the miasma of you is sleep and last night’s beer

               my girl, my girl, don’t lie to me, cobain echoes in my head

                               water by your bedside and painkillers in blister packs

                               add them to the shopping list because we’re always running out, the way your head hurts you

(i want to believe in more than nicotine stained walls and showers that run too cold and halfhearted shrugs and a promise of more of the same,

open the windows and stare down at the sprawl and in the distance, the ocean, the way it looks almost green and the boats that have made their

                                                                                                                                                                                                               you were supposed to be the escape.


i scream until my lungs fill with salt air –

you shouldn’t –

                 i shouldn’t –

(a person is only a person)

i read you poetry while you sleep and i get on the next boat by morning.

Written by

Charlotte Amelia Poe (they/them) is an autistic nonbinary author from England. Their first book, How To Be Autistic, was published in 2019. Their debut novel, The Language Of Dead Flowers, was published in September 2022. Their second novel, Ghost Towns, was self published in 2023. Their second memoir, (currently untitled), will be published in 2024.
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