Convention and Morality – 2009

Catherine Heath


You fit right in with the storybook crowd–– 

Be quiet, shut up! 

(Please don’t speak so loudly.)

Sleeping confetti,

You are so pretty

Locked away beneath the city.

“He called me a crack-whore!”

No idea what that was for.

That’s the price of a beautiful girl––

Other boys want her, too.

Brace yourself, I’m hyperactive. 

He’s oddly attractive (but so cocky).

Now I find you quite insulting!

I had no idea you were this keen. 

This is a place I’ve never been.

Oh, how very European. 

Suffocating beneath boys

With captivating godly eyes. 

Incomplete disguises are no good at all: 

We give ourselves prizes for nothing at all. 

Are we in control?

Love, we are fading. 

(I find your body quite enticing)

Tonight your repertoire’s inviting

But tomorrow’s less exciting. 

Could you be any more enlightening?

You know it means more than that. 

If I had known you all along

Would you distract me with your skin?

Sly and sweetly genuine,

I can’t deny you’re feminine.

It’s so cold tonight, 

You, my dear, are my delight;

Everything will be alright.

I can show you affection, at last

(But, glamorised within the glass)

Our days of innocence are past.

(Will we always be together?)

Nothing this good lasts forever.

Nothing painful hurts forever.

Told you not to say “I never”.

And now I know that I was wrong.

Jokes and lies can still be true––

(What we do depends on you)

Only oceans are so blue. 

But, I left something in your room––

May I come round and get it soon?

Softly cushioned by your smiles, 

Forgetting you may take a while. 

Laughter ringing in the ears of girls

That know they won’t be heard. 

You wish you were me–– 

(I know what you mean)

How the fuck do you know?

Hollow footprints in the snow

(In the morning, you will go…).

Yes, rejection is a blow.

Like the peacock made of glass,

We were not meant to last.

To see you looking so undignified

Feels good. 

Whispered secrets in a room

Where feathers rest, beneath the lights. 


Bloody pillow, sleepless nights

(Why do you have eyes that bright?).

Close the window, say “goodnight”.

Holding onto grains of sand

(Feels like the ghost of you).

Point the gun towards the sky,

Turn around and say “goodbye”.

Doesn’t matter how you feel inside.

Ringlets of your hair lie flat

Upon the dusty welcome mat,

But no one cares! No one cares…

Nobody was ever there.

Melting puddles of what are

The remnants of our youth:

Kiss the moon, forget the stars.

Defy war-like mars.

There’s a fine line between madness and genius

(It would have been pretty if not so pretentious)

Upside down or drunk, I cannot tell,

I can’t be bothered to explain––

It wasn’t me constantly complaining–– 

Do you want to know what I think?

Take your words and swallow them. 

Vowels and consonants, these winged words:


(The worst thing you can do is walk away)

We cannot shake off this malaise

And it’s so hard to smile these days.

Many faces, many names

And sparkling

Bracelets to be claimed.

Unimportant and rejected,

This is not what I expected:

Sinking to profuse profanity. 

Lost in a world of your own–– 

How could you do that?

Corrupted, moral?


I need to give them a chance to talk about me. 

Bitter virtues

Are what ails you.

I don’t know you anymore. 

No one like him lived before.

Hadn’t thought you’d care, before. 

You’ve gotten away with it this time.

I’d like to think I had the best of you

(And now it’s time for all the rest).

I remember how it started

But I don’t like this part, my darling. 

Run! Walk. Sleep…

Just let the quietness grow deep. 

The broken sticks that bear your name

By no means can be fixed again.

The plan has failed, disorder won

(Hello, horseman – here we come). 

Everything’s the same but changed––

We’ll never be alike again.

You and me? 

You’re only wrong

If you don’t learn your lesson.

But maybe you should try harder than that. 

I cannot halt my wildness. 

(You can’t convince me to confess)

I thought you looked good in that dress. 

He had his uses after all

(Without the power to enthral).

Striving far out of my reach,

You can find no peace.

Only desolation shall wait

Beneath the lonely stairs.

Just crowds of people in between

(In time with my slow, sick heartbeat).

And you astound me–– 

A very silly thing indeed.

Telling smudges in the liquor

Only make them all breathe quicker…

Desperate for attention,

We can find no bad intentions. 

Please regain your inhibitions.

Credit: Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash