Driveways, Bars, And Things That Aren’t Love


When he tells you, he loves you for the first time.

You’ll be crossed legged, sitting at a bar, on a rickety old stool, with an empty wine glass in your hand.

The clock on your phone reads 12 a.m.

He shows up at 1:30 a.m. to remind you that patience is a virtue

But you can’t always help but think

You’re always waiting.

When he tells you, he loves you for the first time

he will do it in a text message so you can’t see the way

his mouth curls when his fingers type it

The way he does when he is lying.

When he breaks your heart for the first time

you won’t even know he is doing it.

I remember that warm summer night.

Our plan was meant for 9 p.m.. You showed up at 2 a.m.

But I didn’t care because you were finally here

We dragged the cushions off the couch and pulled the doona off my bed

and we set up our own star gazing fort in the middle of my driveway.

You looked at me and said

“What if your housemate comes home and runs us over?”

I wanted to say that

I’d be happy to die that way with you


in my favourite place

looking up at the stars

But I knew you hated when I spoke like that

So, I just shook my head and said

“She’s out all night, don’t worry.”

And we laid there, for hours.

We talked and we laughed

I told you things and you told me things too

and just when the sun started to peak over the clouds to greet us good morning

you got up and went to your car that was parked on the street

You got out your camera and snapped a photo of me and said

“For when I leave.”

I thought you meant when you leave for your Europe trip for a month.

But I know now you were already busy

developing that photo in the darkroom of your insecurities.

You really should have been clearer.

“For when I leave you” would have been better.

but that’s the thing about loving boys that are artists.

I was just another Polaroid picture in his album of broken hearts

and now, he is just another poem of mine.

When he looks at me

he sees just another girl who played too recklessly and got her heart broken.

It was my fault really

or that’s what he will tell himself.

But I refuse to believe that

I’m just another heartbroken girl


about the love she didn’t get or about how sad she is

I refuse to be washed away into the sea of heartbreak without screaming my truth

I will not be silenced.

I will scream until my heart bleeds clear

until the poison of you has been flushed out of my system.

I’m not just another one

of your etches on the tally of your heartbreak

in your prison cell of a mind.

I am me.

a wildfire of a woman

I come in like a thunderstorm on a cool dry night

Loud and harsh

I demand to be loved

The right way

Or not at all

That was always my problem, you see

I was always so hungry for love so eager to find it.

I spent too much time falling

into hands that had no intentions of ever catching me.

I am me.

A woman who will no longer take a compliance yes for an answer


A woman who refuses to be the china doll that I once was.

I patched those cracks up and moved my fragile arse back to the drawing board

I am me

and I am learning that he

is just a boy