Pale White Girl Goes Into The Sun Anyway

I am on a balcony
and the sweating horrible blissful sun is dripping gold again,
and I am worrying about the burn
again. My skin starts to sear.
Too pale for even Scottish summer.
I am on a balcony in the torrid heat in the East End,
smoking a joint again. Death draw lips.
Legs dangled gracelessly over beat up orange chairs,
taking in stranger’s stares from sad black windows bitten with dust.
Mismatched socks.
Only one ankle feels the breeze.
I am on a balcony in the East End with nothing between me and Icarus’ wings
but corrugated iron railings
to keep me from falling.
And the sun is heavypetting my skin again,
and it tastes like the first lie on my mouth.
It was yours.
That day we swept through Glasgow Green, you wanting nothing but goodbyes
and me,
knee deep in memories of your eyes,
thinking we could work this out.
How young I was then.
And so in love, so hopelessly
yours until I died.
It was so warm then, too.
I am on a balcony in the East End smoking pot and writing things
that still don’t make full sense to me,

because love was never enough,
not for us.
This balcony isn’t even very nice.
And frankly, neither were you.
So I don’t like to talk about it anymore.
Not in my poems, not even my diary.
If I do, it’s like I’m a storage box for some different version of you
that existed mostly in my head,
and I don’t wanna be that.
I wanna be something More.
I resent the implication that I’m Red Riding Hood
when all my poems are about wolves.
That’s just sexist.

I’m here to say
Fine. You broke my heart,
but not my head,
and soon you’re gonna wish I was dead,
because of all the things I learned from you
it’s that spite is useful too.
I’m gonna do so much.
I mean because I want to do it too, but defiance spurs on my blood,
and I can hardly pretend it doesn’t.

And that’s the story of how I got sunburn.


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