• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 04

What I have to say

I have learnt that most of the time I don't have the words.
I have maybe symbols, could say: I feel like an anchor tattoo,
or, I am green as the letter C, yellow as E, or orange as F.
Other people might get it - but usually they talk and talk,

and I jump and dodge looking for a place to mount the train
before it is long gone to another platform, another person.
My story that I wanted to tell will already be meadows ago,
and we are in a new city, and I would be pulling us back.

So then I write, tenderly stroking and feeding each poem
to get to know its shape and sound, and we work together,
and when I find a chance, I show people and they go, oh, Liz.
You... have something to say. You have lived on a mountain,

you have arrived at a bar after midnight, suited and joyous,
you had a cat who you loved and nearly lost before you did.
You had a crush who broke your heart in a cold hotel room,
you lost and found and lost a girlfriend, this strange summer.

When I don't have a poem to hand, I just say, I love cats.
Travelodges make me sad. I miss going out, miss being held.
Maybe there is enough there, a ghost, a bubble or leaf of me,
for someone to catch and inspect and know what I mean.