poem eighteen: it couldn’t be

TW: rape, domestic violence


It couldn’t all be climbing on
Nelson’s Column, three inch
heels on my tall black boots,
to sit next to the lions at one AM
and watch a guy roller skating
in Trafalgar Square, while we
smoked off our pints, laughing
eating chips, catching the night bus.

It couldn’t all be like this
when I stopped remembering
how to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, kept quiet
and let things happen as they fell
because you bought me a mic
and said I must never let
myself go, that I had an image
to maintain, what was I thinking?

It couldn’t all be rock n roll my
love. It couldn’t all be your way
even if it was in your city, even
if the words sliding over my lips
were floating on your tune,
even if you were almost a whole
foot taller than me and what could
I do about it? Say no? Funny.

It couldn’t all be funny, even
though you turned up to the shop
with flowers, looking sheepish, sorry
you’d thrown me around, sorry you’d
said harsh words, mangled the parts
of me you said you loved. No, that
isn’t how it went: you only said ‘sorry’.
You never explained what you meant.


Sorry for the dark waffling stuff, people. Others don’t appear to think about what they’re saying to me and what it might trigger for days after. Poetry is a way through that for me.


6 thoughts on “poem eighteen: it couldn’t be

      • I do….and I feel sad that I didn’t know much about it at the time it was happening, because I would have tried my best to get you out of that….I am proud of you, though, for breaking away from that.

      • Thank you. But no one knew! And there’s not much anyone could’ve done either. I was young … and not so smart. I didn’t think to tell anyone. Just waited for him to inevitably cheat on me & go away.

  1. ….I know….I’ve been there….and we feel like we weren’t smart, but it’s not really that….more like we had insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities….and you are a stronger person now.

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