She told me she could write poetry
And she could.
She told me Penguin were publishing it.
She showed me pages of her writing.
“I wrote this,” she said
“After dinner at my parents.
We just sat there, no one spoke.
All I could hear was the silver scratching on the fine china
And the neighbour’s kids playing outside.
I gave birth to this after that terrible night.”
She held the pages up and shook them.
I nodded. It was well written.
But poetry isn’t only written over silent dinners.
It’s also written over lonely nights in cheap apartments
when no one is going to visit you, or cares if you are alive.
It’s written when a woman screams abuse at you on the street
Or someone jumps you for your phone in a park
as you walk home minding your own business.
Poetry is written when you know she doesn’t love you
So you can’t get it hard
And you look at it in the bathroom and think about ways to leave
Without saying goodbye.
Poetry is written when you are standing on a city street
And you see a man hit by a bus
And he drags himself off the road
With a leg twisted behind him.
It’s written at 2 am
If it’s written well it burns out the top of your head
And you know you earned those lines.