Like Someone Who Knows Me

entry picture

Through the bitterness of winter 
life crawls, so lingering and lonely
and hauling your battered heart into 
the shelter of some place holy
Your mind swims with the terrible things 
those hands have groped toward
The grit of guilt and shame conspire 
to serve as your reward

Such troubled thoughts reverberate
as they echo up into the arches
Gathering their mass and falling back 
they’ve now swollen to a chorus
It's to the ivory king atop his wooden cross 
your hope will momentarily cling
but in the deafening silence he lets ring 
you’ll sigh your stuttered hymn…

“O, hold me
hold me
like someone who knows me
for there must be

Caught between the ribbons and the frills 
of a hired friend in a rented room
Her garments kiss the mottled carpet 
as she beckons you from the dimming gloom
You’ve lassoed all your longing
gathered up your greed
but all is tarnished by the arrogance 
of succumbing to this need

To feel her fingers, small and slender 
as they rouse your self belief
A patron of the pornographic sweatshops
with nothing beyond this fleeting relief
Your hands suddenly feel so cold 
There's much your body is aching to confess
and your tears of lumpen coal merely exist
as you whimper at her breast…

“O, hold me
hold me
like someone who knows me
for there must be

The dance of waves like hungry knives 
metallic in the floodlight moon
This freezing clifftop is haunted 
by the remnants of a family ruin
And strobing images of numbered girls
divorced from name and age
You torched everything that mattered 
for a compulsion you could not assuage

The trouble swells, you’ve lost control 
it's from yourself you now must flee
Still your wings, they have no feather 
it's a long way down but then you're free
Soon you'll slip between the stars 
a fragment of that timeless beauty
as the sea rises up to carve your body 
you exhale that broken plea…

“O, hold me
hold me
like someone who knows me"

Yet there 



◄ University Payphone

Gentleness ►


Profile image


Wed 14th Dec 2022 15:34

Thank you Flyntland and Kevin, I really appreciate you reading/listening and the generous comments.

Profile image


Wed 14th Dec 2022 11:30

Beautiful and as ever sensitive and gentle.

Profile image

Kevin Tan

Fri 4th Nov 2022 12:44

The audio really helps. It's your strength. It's easier for me to read the poems with audio than without!

Profile image


Thu 3rd Nov 2022 16:58

Thanks so much Stephen and Kevin, really appreciate you reading this one. I know it's a bit long 😃

Profile image

Kevin Tan

Mon 31st Oct 2022 11:08

Thanks Tom. This intellectual discussion is so important. I have decided that we're gonna save this world. And I could use your help. You're a strong poet.

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Fri 28th Oct 2022 06:38

This is very impressive, Tom. You oral reading complements the power of the poem. Thanks.

Profile image


Thu 27th Oct 2022 22:25

Thanks Kevin, that's a really interesting take and I'd love to imagine there's enough ambiguity in the words for it to be read that way.

This was my off-kilter, melodramatic (and admittedly self-indulgent) take on finding out about the transgressions of someone I knew (or thought I knew) who had been hiding their real self from everyone for a very long time. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Thanks Frederick and Kamran for reading and making it to the end of this very long poem.

Profile image

Kevin Tan

Thu 27th Oct 2022 20:51

Sounds like heteronormativity to me. Or am I wrong?

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message