Category Archives: Writing

Our Goodbye

Sometimes, I find myself
thinking about our goodbye

and the loneliness that rings these bones
like plague bells now that you’ve gone.

These days, there is a void in these bones you used to fill,
but, now, it roams this body like an unanchored sigh,
searching for a harbour or a home.

I know I shouldn’t think of you this way anymore,
but, from time to time, I do.

I guess I’m just hoping you can tell me
how to reconcile myself with the fact
that I miss you to the core,

but that I’m simultaneously
beginning to forget
how your lips felt against mine.

© Keighley Perkins


The Seven Stages of Loving You


I don’t think you realise
just how much I love you,
but, then again, how could you?

There are no words to describe the slow delirium
that spreads through my body like poison ivy
until my chest is a nest of addiction

nor how you storm the gates of this skin
until you exist in the spaces of me
that can’t be out-written.


You make me feel
like you could knock the breath
from the stars,

you leave my mouth
full of commas

and, through all of this,
you’ve taught me
how to do tricks with longing.


I wish you would stop stealing on me like winter
because the blank page of my body aches for you.

There are so many puddles of you in me
deep enough to drown in that I do

and, even though I’m trying
to teach myself how to be alone,
the ghosts of you keep getting in the way.


I know your ghost.
I know its passion.

It’s stripped all words from me
with just that look.

I know that there must be more to life than this,
but drifting in the blue of your eyes makes me doubt it.


You’ve never broken the yoke of my longing
with your hungry hands.

You’ve never let the seas of your eyes
rock the lonely nights by my side.

You’ve never taken me in
when my love was too much
for the boats of these lips to carry.


I was so sure of everything until you.

You didn’t tell me
you were looking for prey
when I met you

and, now, you’re too comfortable a thought
for me to climb out of.


This was a mistake.

I was only meant to love you,
but now there’s a fist
the size and shape of you
in my stomach

and there should be a word
to make you feel the same way.

I just can’t seem to find it.

© Keighley Perkins


There is not enough alcohol in the world
to flush you out of my system.

As stubborn as heartache,
you sit beneath my skin,

cutting paperdolls of yourself
to display around the halls of my body.

© Keighley Perkins


He sits besides me
in the darkness of my apartment,
holding the heartbreak of my hand

with the saddest eyes that I’ve ever seen –
like two puddles at risk of overflowing.

He smells like sleepless nights
and the scent seeps into my skin
the more he holds me.

It’s not the tightest of touches,
but there’s a purpose to it
that means I can’t let go

because it’s been so long since I’ve been touched
that my body is coated with longing like cobwebs

and I need a touch of something
more than loneliness.

© Keighley Perkins

Collateral Damage

Your eyes are inflamed like collateral damage
and I can see the cities in you falling like rain.

I don’t know who started this war between us,
but it’s happened now and the damage
is too deep in my veins for excavation.

Across the war zone of our bedroom,
every breath between us smokes like carnage
until not even the white flag of my tears can be seen.

© Keighley Perkins

Being in love with you

Being in love with you
is like serving storms for someone
who only wishes for rain.

It’s like wishing to get swept up
in a tsunami of feeling with you
when all you crave is clear skies.

Needing you
is like being parched
in the middle of a flood.

It’s like drowning
in the depths
of a drought.

At night,
I lie besides you
and dream of downpours

and, in my dreams,
I plant tempests beneath your skin
like catastrophic diamonds to dazzle martyrs by

and offer you the kind of love
that needs no umbrella.

© Keighley Perkins

Three Years

It has taken three years
to achieve this undressing,

but we are here now
and I’m trembling like a bridegroom
at each word your lips confess.

You reveal history
like others reveal skin:

slowly –
with a cautious,
backward glance.

You work carefully through your memories
until there is nothing left of you but the core.

A core I already know
and love and cherish
as much as a first kiss.

© Keighley Perkins