Lovely People

I love you       

when I help mum around the house even (and especially) when she didn’t ask.

I love you

when I buy a soft teddy for Chirjeev, to celebrate nothing (but actually everything) in particular.

I love you

when I smile at a stranger walking along the street on the off chance (with the hope that) it’ll spark one in them.

I love you

when I love the people in my life

right now

a little bit more,

with the love that I used to give to you,

now fallen

at my feet,


for me to trip

and sink

into the floor

like quicksand.

Because love spent loving on a camera roll, on an old Christmas card, on earrings that belonged to you,

is lonely loving,

nurturing an ache in your bones from arms outstretched

embracing nothing you can lean on.

So instead, I crouch down and pocket the love around my ankles,

piece by piece,

to hand to someone else,

like a pebble on the beach I thought looked pretty, but prettier, maybe, in my friend’s palm.  



but do you see?

how it’s better

to buffer

the bruising blow

of each empty-armed-


sparkling with shining purples and blues,

and stars

flashing inside my eyes –

with people in between,

like an airbag

in a car crash

that keeps happening –

so the echo

of each swing

connecting with my gut,

doesn’t deafen me.

I love you when I love my mum, I love you when I love my boyfriend, I love you when I love a perfect stranger,





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