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Anatomy of Longing

Cutting to the heart of all this longing
is it the vicious tongue you wag at me
or the perpetual mystery hanging from your actions
the contradictions of your possible state of mind

I see the hurt, I feel the pain you carry
and sense the urge to be desired by men
the flirt of all you do rings loudly before you
and against my better judgement
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores

With every scar you try to inflict
or accidentally leave on my skin
I drift away for a moment only
then find myself battling the waves
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores

I know you didn’t ask for this
I know you didn’t choose me or this adventure
and yet I brought it to you anyway
and you didn’t quite turn me away

And you’re cute, there’s no denying
you spill out in all my favourite places
know how to smile with a catastrophic magnitude
that rips the hair clean off my scalp

The bile in your belly, the bitch barely-contained
I never knew how much I loved that rage
your misery is contagious
I feel its cells dividing in my bloodstream

I doubt I am the only one you’ve drugged this way
I know you’re not planning to leave your man
but as long as you keep firing this engine of longing
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores

I dream about you most nights
and when I’m on the bus
or train, or tube, or walking down the street
or when I’m in bed with somebody else
I dream it’s your body
your hands holding me close

And yet you only reach out a paw for me
when you know I cannot be there
you only say you might want for me
when you know we can’t connect

You’re playing me, humble instrument to your vanity
you keep me hanging on for nothing real
I know all of this so well and yet I gladly hang myself
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores

Sometimes it seems; perhaps you feel more for me than I realise
an ambiguous choice of words and perhaps it could mean more
you say the lovers kissing in the bar, are reminding you of me
I say the denim shirt I wore today was reminding me of you

So who are you anyway and why do I long like this
I feel a sudden shortness of breath
when I look into your eyes
I feel my chest twinge when you catch me looking

There’s something in your history too
I know you’ve got some good in you
beyond the selfish drive you choose to expose
I know there’s something that I could harness

There’s something in the things you’ve seen
the pleasure I know you’ve experienced
your taste for the beautiful and the sublime
perhaps if I could make you choose me, it would mean I’m beautiful too

You laugh at my jokes
no matter how ruthless the punchline
the sharper, the more scathing the better
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores

I need to catch myself 
before I fall much further
slam my pick in the ice
and before the precipice

Cutting to the heart of all this longing
I see such complicated shapes emerging
and despite all my better instincts
I can’t help but come swimming back to your shores…


(March, 2015)


◄ Souvenir

The Wind Is Howling ►


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Tue 12th Nov 2019 09:12

Thank you so much Kimberly and Vautaw. It's very long and I applaud you for making through to the end. ?

I remember writing this one very vividly, it felt really good to get it down on paper and get it out of my head. I always assumed I'd trim it down but can't seem to part with a single line.

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Tue 12th Nov 2019 03:16

Wow! I felt this to my core, especially with your surreal reading. So, so good. I think I need a cigarette!

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Mon 11th Nov 2019 22:56

Thank you Kimberly. I don’t think the WoL audio player likes long files... I have the same issue with others’ recordings. If you’re curious, you can it through to the end on my blog, here:

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Taylor Crowshaw

Sat 1st Dec 2018 07:39

This kept me hooked. What beauty, longing and hope is expressed in this wonderful poem. It is worthy of praise and acknowledgement..??

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