She Bled Red Wine

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I wrapped her,
in red ribbon. I breathed
against her skin, and heard her
thoughts crashing against the inside of
my skull, like bones clicking when stretched too far.
She ached. Though I didn’t know why.
Nor could I ask. Not yet.
Her eyes changed colour with each
mechanical snap of
the lens. A flash of the lights,
skin pulled tight,
and emotions pulled tighter.
A pale faced weak shadow stood not far,
unblinking in her information gathering.
‘I’m a copywriter.’ The shadow stated.
‘That’s nice.’ I lied. ‘Hold this, please.’
Girl wrapped in ribbon, warm hands and
busy mind,
lay on the bed to be written on.
My poetry on her nakedness seemed so
perfect. I had no idea why.
But it did.
It did.
Perfect.
Made of fire, wrapped in silk red ribbon.
A page for my words, laid out on my linen.
She wanted to tell me why she ached.
Though she did not know why.
Not yet.
Girl wrapped in red ribbon, bled red wine.
She shared and spared nothing,
while dark clouds gathered overhead and it rained.
We laughed and we played and we fell and we lay
in the music and the words and the breath of the day.
We sewed our thoughts together,
and stained our bodies with bite marks, bruises
and evidence of love.
Forbidden love.
Cigarettes and couches.
Gardens and lounge floors.
We planned London from the edge of a three seater
couch while smoking Marlboro.
Lucozade and Oreo cookies on hand.
I understood why she ached, and
girl in red ribbon understood why she
wanted to open up her rib cage and give me
everything that was fixed,
everything that was broken,
and everything in between;

Love.

She was a warrior. A fighter for the act of it.
The Joan of Arc of integrity in love. Of passion and
of purity and so beautifully unapologetic in her demonstration.

Then there was me. A fumbling mess, determined to declare
at the top of my inexperienced lungs
my love.
my adoration.
my everything.

But never my commitment. I could declare my fear.
Year after year.
I broke her.
Loved her with every wild part of my being,
but was always too late, or
too afraid of myself.

Close on a decade after that day;
the day I wrapped that beautiful girl up in ribbon
and breathed in her skin intentionally
we have since kissed, and held each other and
cried, and fought, and parted ways and found each other again,
shared more, shared less, swapped pain, laughed, been silent,
been angry, been desperately sad,

but I understand why despite time and the cruelty of it,

I wanted to open up her rib cage and look inside
at everything that was fixed,
at everything that was broken,
and everything in between;

Because I Loved Her.

Because I always will.

Wherever the winds take us, and whichever lighthouses we pass,
The girl wrapped in red ribbon bled red wine,
peeled back my chest and restarted my heart.
Tore open my mind and set fire to it.
Gestures kind, and a soul
like a giant Oak.
Layers of wisdom, from
weathering many a storm.

I have always said, Love is just a word.

The girl wrapped in red ribbon;

the girl I wrapped up in
poetry and who in turn,  stilled me with words,
is in fact

love – ‘the verb’..

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