Art by LK Shaw & Words by Vicki Tingle

thank you for including me in your life of endless parties

today is the first day in a long time that i have not been feeling myself
i can hear the ocean from my room and
it seems sarcastic
we carried on like
'we've already read this book and it ends well'
and you carried me on your back like luggage
plot twist, it doesn't end well
spoiler, it never ends well

i shut my finger in a door and said 'good riddance'
i began to notice things that had long seemed dead to me
i felt things
i texted, 'hey boy, you feel like ecstasy'
hey boy, lay your hands upon me and give me the strength to accept the things that i cannot change
like how you moved out on me
you went back to the ocean
you seemed sarcastic
you texted 'thank you for including me in your antisocial lifestyle'

i moved to where the parties are
but my desktop background will always be a picture of the ocean
and if i stare soft enough, i can swear the waves are moving
if i unfocus my eyes i can swear that my heart is beating
sometimes unfocused eyes can feel the same as hangover eyes
and hangover eyes can feel the same as 'i cried over you last night' eyes
and i often have a strange feeling in my eyes

since then ive been drinking straight rum
and walking around alone, no headphones,
getting turned on by misogynistic literature,
these are the things i ought to keep to myself
these are the things that i cannot change

hey boy, i know we're of a different kind
you converse with the norms, my soul is closed for business
but that ain't no thing when you in that north face jacket boy
thank you for including me in your life of endless parties
but i'm at the coat-check trying to focus my eyes

i implore you to come closer
i implore you to keep away

i'm sorry for not believing in the beauty
of a string of nice-sounding words
of the way a body moves when riding waves of misguided hope
i need to thank you
for the way you pressed your mouth on mine
but there are too many things that i cannot change
i dip my toe into the water
good riddance

Vicki Tingle lives in Brighton, UK

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