Another beautiful submission to the Poetry portion of our Creative Writing Competition was Catherine Potter’s “liquid courage”. 

 

 

you slice through the darkness,

i’m not sure if i want this anymore.

you’re begging

each one a prick in my stomach

 

get away

 

‘okay’

 

purring…

i’ll make it good…

make it good

for you…

 

‘okay’

 

what am I saying

i don’t want this

this is not my bravery

 

‘okay’

 

okay?

 

liquid courage

harnesses the mouth

this is the last thing i wanted

but now it supposes i want it

tastes like 40%

that speaks for itself

an okay where a yes couldn’t exist

and you believed it

 

bruises and

regret and

shame

 

oh!

there’s a gap

i’m not sure where

but it’s not stitching back together

he’s cut it apart and liquid courage floods through

 

i’m floating above myself

what’s he doing

what’s he doing

what’s he doing

what’s he doing

 

i turn over i’m only 18

a trace of my side in an almost

disappointed

fashion

 

gone girl

he’s gone it’s not your fault

 

ash and blur

a morning space

thank god

i can barely face myself

 

hollowness isn’t that?

tastes like sharp burn and smoke,

a pounding headache,

a scarf meticulously covering

blooming purple for days

 

questions will just make it worse

 

a laugh three days later

rushes through

holes in my chest

icanbarelybreathe

 

it wasn’t my fault

it wasn’t

at the end of the day

i didn’t want it

but it spoke for me didn’t it?

ha

and he believed it?

ha

 

but i thought i did too

and then i thought

i had the courage

to say no

 

liquid couldn’t even give me that.

 

Catherine Potter