You will die. You will die, and everyone will leave
you, and all the terrible things you have imagined
will fly into being like crows from your mind
and you will die. But there are so many trees.
Every time you choose, you will choose wrongly:
between jobs, and lovers, and places to live,
and desserts and people to make babies with,
and you will die. But there are bumblebees.
You’ll go mad after taking bad LSD and believe
your hands are made from oranges and your mother
is a pear, and you’ll miss delivery on your new blender
and you will die. But there’s never not the sea.
And you’ll fuck it all up and everyone will be angry
with you and the three-month-old baby you nannied
will become a man and he will hit and hurt and bleed
and he will die, too. But spring comes, with its leaves.
You’ll be late every time and your heart will drop like a stone,
but in the morning, after dark, the sun will march
riotous into your room, bold like so many brass
trumpets, oh, those beautiful, loud trumpets and trombones.
Billie Manning is a writer and facilitator from Hackney, London. Having grown up writing, she eventually graduated from tweenage Harry Potter erotica to poetry and prose that has nothing to do with puns on the word ‘wand’. She teaches poetry courses at City Lit and is a Barbican Young Poet 2019-20.
Her work uses the personal moments of joy and hurt she experiences as a woman and a person to create understanding and connection within an audience, and sometimes to diss her exes. She thinks storytelling and its ability to bring people together is the most important thing in the world, no matter what form it is in.