SPOTLIGHT: Helicopter Honey by Katie Proctor

Angel Numbers

Everything is you in the way that you said and every other way
at once, like a back door left open for the possibility of something
nameless. Spinning in my red dress, in pastel shades of spring,
one hand where two should be, fingers laced in a cat’s cradle,
antique, porcelain, I see us by the water and it’s raining when I
kiss you and we laugh. You can tell, it’s written all over your
face, I know, painted and gold framed, I’d hang us in the Louvre
and people could learn how to feel without regret from our touches.
Yours, with rhythm and beauty, epical, I lock it up tied with a
ribbon, check the date, count in angel numbers. Think of you
when I lie blanketed by the deaf night, each streetlight dancing
like a firefly, like me, like us, delicate and with serenity. Sleep,
you hold me and it’s quiet and bright, blue and neon. A summer
somewhere, we are infinite, a bench by a darkened lake, I am
yours in the way that you said and every other way at once.

Say Less (We’re Easy)

In our do nothing kind of love, we could walk in the park, peaches and mango by the water, you’re sweet like strawberries and miles from tea with saccharine. I want you here to say you’re proud when I wash my hair, wrap me up in lilac and kiss me with lemon and lime. I’m busy most days or I just don’t feel right, it’s okay even if you’re far away, you don’t ask twice and send a letter instead, stickers and pictures and flowers not pressed but growing wild between and around us. It can be serious and whatever you want it to be, grass so green this could be somewhere prettier, and the songs do sound like you just as they did on the car ride home, one bar in the corner shop and the wrapper of a vegan ice cream folded right there with the paper bag from the afternoon where I learned what your hand feels like in mine. It’s true, I see us in the raspberry fields drinking Diet Coke, and I know it’s easy because you don’t say anything just to say it. I would hold you there, gingham blanket and salty skies of sienna. It’s okay to smile, safe without expectation, locking the sound of your laugh in my heart and keeping the key in a pocket I’ll forget about. I love you and I’d run away with you. Thank god I don’t have to.

lessons and teachings

I was twelve years old on a windowsill, plants as false as the
sparkly façade covering a deviance that threatened to exile me,
that girl, that one there. Floor to ceiling whispers, secrets switched
on grass dewy with the blooming of technicolour beginnings.
Kisses under tables, it started in a classroom, ended in a cold
kitchen, a car ride home thinking about forever and the things that
aligned to give us a moment, some black hole burning out on
borrowed time. It was emptiness and light then, learning how to
be the sister I never had for a family formed in secret. To hold
hands in a hotel bathroom at 2am, wipe tears in the blue of a
corridor lit by emergency, bury hatchets in a backstreet in Italy.
For the hiding, for the fear and the anger and the nights spent in
the dark, I never had many people, what if I lose them all now?
The little bits of heart they’ll find when they need to remember
what it’s like to make daisy chains in the dark under a desk after
hours, fold them up, a time capsule in a blazer pocket, a memory
of March at fifteen. I will linger, fragments of a broken psyche in
the back of a locker, paper cranes, mutilated translation, and
when it is cold and I’m not there I need you to grin and bear it like
I did before it all got easier. Before the flights and the food we
could barely eat, and the romantic trauma that floats like a ghost.
Shit, life is tough and people are joyless, but you will be a lantern
like I was. Watch the fireflies, strike a match. Lost is ticking away,
the moon pulls a fresh tide. And with it, light.

there came a time when my breasts stopped aching with unfulfilled womanhood, and i stopped hurting quite so much, started wanting and living and loving like i was born to do. every morning i look at the picture on the fridge, stand by the toaster and still see the she with the smile and the baby blonde hair, and it still feels strange to think about where the line was drawn. like when i started growing into the body i get to call home. i stopped hating it and started calling it a blessing, a privilege for anyone lucky enough to see it sprawled in the moonlight in satin and lace. like i’m goddamn work of art in my not-quite-femininity, won’t let anyone in who doesn’t understand that my hips can be androgynous, non-committal and just as fluid as when i dance to lizzo in my bathroom. and i’m mourning, i say, really i am, pining for an innocence and delusion i barely remember but can see in that picture on the fridge. wish it’d never crossed my mind, life would have been so easy. but what’s life if you can’t write your own fables, i don’t know but i sure as hell wouldn’t like to be living it. not when it feels just like this, thunder outside my window and a bouquet of genderless roses. won’t go back except in the skirts and shoes i’ve learned i can still love. doesn’t make me a girl, doesn’t make me anything. it’s abundant and rich and empty all at once, loving between the lines – myself and others, so regardless. i don’t think about it, don’t kiss and tell and label. it’s cold, really, and pretty all at once. got to love my stripes and glitter. finished with naivety if it doesn’t mean understanding. i’ll cry a thousand times over if it can be like this. i’ll put flowers in my mouth and at my ankles. i get it now.


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