a diamond for the I love you, a martini for the let me fuck you. (poems by ishani)

mads in her room. film by abby

mads in her room. film by abby


A beat I can’t put sound to name

Drowning in the liquid silk beneath my ribcage 

Slipping out of ears

Dipping down milk bones 

Wrapping around stained necks

A velvet ribbon tugged and tied by time’s cool fingers

The motel sign buzz of his lips down my spine

Cracking until they trace a whole

A bleeding angel behold


Pick a card they say 

Any card 

A colour a shape a number 

Fingers trembling eyes fluttering

There must be a mistake I say 

Let me play one game 

Empty your gold and scratch your silver 

As they clink like the wine glasses of blood they drink

Toasting to an end that will never come

Like the wives they keep at home with their feet cold and eyeshadow staining their


A diamond for the I love you

A martini for the let me fuck you

My lips are dry nonetheless

I’m done I’m done

I fold

Creased from the inside out like the card I just slipped in a glass asking for another tonic

Any tonic I don’t mind 

The one that’ll leave me naked on a subway

It was the colour I say

The shape or maybe the number 

Nothing or all

Let me make one fucking call


White linen dipping down collarbones

Silk across the crevice of your chest 

The dulled gold of a cigarette bitten and bent 

Lips that came and went 

Death is wanting 

Life is waiting

Birth is waking

Eyes closed as I let out a moan

They say a heart is a home 

But my fingers traced by silver they roam

I never knew the power of a telephone

Cord twisting around my wrist

Hushed circles around my legs pulled apart because you told me they never quite fit

A button and a zip

With a lighter in my mouth 

I said yes


The first time you said my name

It was wrong but it felt right

Fingertips tracing the spin of your curls and the rises of your chest 

Dotted with goosebumps and ink that’d been poked and stuck 

A little girl with sun stained skin and tears swelling like the belly of her mother who wanted

me more than I wanted her questioning her luck

Jaws tucked into collarbones 

Wrists against your neck as my fingers held each other instead of yours 

Tongue cold from an iced latte 

Still lighter than my legs against your bedsheets

Even after summer evenings with lemon in hand 

Skin stinging but never as much as what they would all say she told me




Always cooled by bathroom tiles against my bare back with hair limp and foundation wiped

Crying over a porcelain that I could never tug on 

Like the coat you gave me on one of our first nights 

The pinks and blues from city lights that never slept when they looked you straight in the


Dizzying as they specked your skin

But couldn’t I see 

It could never be me 

Because I was never even mine to keep


Stray hairs tucked beneath your collar

Linen shirts dipping down your chest

Gold wrapped around your neck

Idle sways to gentle jazz

Sun-stained sheets

Tracing the silhouettes of the wonderfully mad

Adorned by silk ribbons and pale melancholy

The bliss

The sin

The stars

The skin

Goodnight young lovers

May dust rest against your old entangled bones