Listen to the rhythm of the beat

Love can set you free,
if you let it,

love can also nibble away at your flesh,
if you’re afraid of it,

the ghosts of my unexpressed feelings are haunting me,
perched on my shoulders
with the weight of three rhinoceroses,
clinging to my collar bones
clawing my skin
each breath is a gasp


Safety tastes sweeter,
or so it seems
when love is a whisper
fading into the dry autumn breeze,
a sour kiss
sealed with an expiration date
let’s not rush this,
I say,
as to hold onto us inside my mind
afraid it may slip away if I let us be more than a thought

these ghosts are getting heavy,
I choke on the U and the I
every time
we’re together
we’re apart,
I think I’m afraid
these ghost-feelings are heaving and shifting
*Thump! Thump! Thump!*

the streets have more colour when we’re in them,
the flowers look bolder
the grass greener
the street lights glitter
the moon glows upon our beaming faces
I catch a glimpse of how wonderful we could be,
but these ghosts are creeping up behind me
the streets are dark and murky
when we’re apart,
every alley looks like a graffitied-up, rubbish-dump death-trap
the trees and garden beds whither
beneath the darkness
the heavy heat eats away at the colour


the ghosts pile and pile upon my shaking aching trapezius ligaments
this doesn’t feel like a miraculous circus act,
my knees are faltering
bearing the weight of at least five rhinoceroses
beads of sweat drip drip drip down my cheeks
tickling my jaw line


you stretch out your hand
I grasp it and the ghosts begin to spill out
“I… I… I… Lo…”
I choke and spit
these words don’t come easy
when you hold them in for so long


the salty beads soak into my flesh,
you’re right there in front of me,
for a moment I catch my breath,
the sweat evaporates from my chest
the particles of hydrogen and oxygen separate,
the silent breaths shared between
warm smiles and eager eyes
say what our words cannot,
but I still can’t unlatch the ghosts
from my shoulders


“I… I… Love”
for a moment each breath comes easier
for a moment there’s much more air than water
for one more moment there’s an incredible lightness

*Thud! Thud!*

my knees give way
my shoulders are aching,
oh no, no,
I’m still afraid


I can’t feel any of my ligaments now
I feel dislocated
I’m all out of sorts,
the weight is stacked so heavy
these ghoulish feelings engulf every breath

so close but I’m still gasping,
my heart is aching
thumping harder than I could ever imagine,
feels like it’s being beaten with a meat tenderiser
by my own admission with the words
I can’t seem to spit out

I’ve only got two feet and sometimes even two feels like too many,
sometimes I wish I couldn’t walk,
it hurts too much to fall

no. That’s it,
I can’t hold onto this any longer,
I’m becoming the ghost of unexpressed feelings
that’s it,

I stand up again,
the weight subsides,
I turn to you
“I love you”
the words echo in the sound of your voice,
no longer blinded by the ghost-fears that have been weighing me down,
our lips touch
my shoulders fall back
“I’ve been waiting so long”
the words echo, again

a whole jungle escapes me
the rhinoceroses bound through green grass and warm mud,
butterflies flutter from our ears,
leaves and petals and twigs and feathers breathe around us
through the rose-infused citrus air,
I can breathe again
lighter, lighter, lighter,

I’m not afraid anymore
or at least I’m getting there,

Love can set you free, if you let it

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