tradie girl winter

it’s tradie girl winter,
and i am wearing my sunday best hi-vis vest
a low cut top and too short skirt that garners wolf whistles from the other tradies
hey boys, look at me, i’m best in show
pie in my hand, gourmet, mince and cheese
and a can of diet coke i find god in the bottom of
like i crush aluminum walls i put up in sugar rush placebo
like the word calories has never bit my tongue

it’s tradie girl winter
and i’m signing the construction site safety agreement
hard hat, no shortcuts, all accidents are preventable
with protective gloves on, i forge this home with my own two hands
then watch myself burn it to the ground
ash settles in my lungs like an old friend
and i will spend weeks convinced i like the way it feels to kiss flames instead of you
i have been here before, i will do it again
how can one ache for comfort
and fear it all the same

the grief costs less than hair removal cream
and the shower has been clogged for weeks
plumbing wasn’t in the agreement
you leaving wasn’t in the agreement
all accidents are preventable
i’ve forgotten how to find solace on the bathroom floor
i dust sleep for dinner with powdered sugar
and let it rot over the bed
i map out your freckles on the roof of my room
i shake the building
i scream until windows shatter
until there is rose tinted glass at my feet
all accidents are preventable but
i am the earthquake
i am the earthquake
i am the earthquake

and when you attach your palm to the root of somebody’s being
you imagine the glue peels away like dead skin
when all is said and done
but my flesh is red and raw and bleeding
chapped and scabbed
i have this bad habit of always reopening the wound
and i’m still halfway stuck in you

fingers trace where i have buried my dead
and you have moved in when there is no room to rent
this is a hack job of wings in the pit of a gut
from a parasite you wish you killed sooner
this story doesn’t end until one of us leaves
and i have run out of blank pages to attach to my doubling over spine
i have run out of artificial sweetener walls to hide myself in
i have run out of myself

in the dead of tradie girl winter
i am standing on a foundation
deemed not earthquake safe
every heart drop
every stomach flop
every shaking breath from my lips
shows the cracks a little more
my foundation could never hold a home

and in the dead of tradie girl winter
i curse these hands of mine
no matter how gentle i am
i have been built to destroy

Featured image courtesy of author.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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