POEM: High Maintenance (aka “Bacon”)


“Your high-maintenance,”
he typo-wrote in an email
after I typed my insecurity
and a dozen questions
of if what I said was offensive
if I had been annoying
Your reaction was funny.

“You can’t offend me.”
And I liked his resilience.
He proved to be the most offensive.
“You’re not a downer at all,”
bravely, inviting me to share
ups and downs and in-betweens;
It was endearing.

I laughed out loud at a recent exchange
with a man with whom I am neighbourly.
Complicating an invite for simple bacon
By conjuring a drunk text as suggestive meaning.

But no, it really was sober and innocent!
Yes, he thought it would be nice to have breakfast!
No, this is not dating or amorous!
Like us, just a fun Canadian – British connection
(But you’re from New Zealand).

“Poor guy,”
is what I think you’d say.
“Does he know what he’s getting into?”
“Slow down, he’s in a couple!” I would tell you right away
“Double the torture” you’d add, in your way.

Do you remember all the energy you’d spend
sorting out shit I would miscomprehend?
You’d use bold font and sex analogies so I’d get it!
You never, ever gave up until I’d grasp it.

“Get a grip”
this neighbor Brit said joking over something to me.
Said comically, it made me smile
I recalled some memory.

My sincere fear
Of my control and contriving
Is that I’m doing it to push away
Gents who I find alluring.
Hopeless and dead, but fired inside
Giving up notions of possibility
Thinking eunuch and that my role
Now is limited to friendship, fleeting.

Because what do you do after you wrote a book about a dude
When the story you’ve lived, you created and it came true?
How do you shelve the safety of a tale
Full of coincidences, support, fun times and betrayal
To make room for something completely Unknown
When your best work, Woman, was to write your own tune.

I know the beautiful music of love
How men can adore, share and become
One, a unit, a together-forever union
What support looks like
What great sex feels like
And what a solid couple means and presumes.

But “soul mate” works for devilish duos too.
Not just for the healthy union’s swoon.
Connected fierce in trigger, doomed
I wanted your wild, mad, raging ruin.


Because it was a direct invitation into you.
My own life but a lazy suggestion for a thing or two.
And the fierce and ferocious of your clear and sharp
Sliced off the fatty bits, went straight to the heart.

The first wrote:
“I’ve found someone to love the
‘Dare You To Love Me’ girl” it read.
The second said nothing in his bold
way, knew he could handle my head.
They all said “You need someone established
With a good job to care of you,” they wrote
I do it all myself I confessed.
So, maybe just someone who fights back
when I poke?

Sylvie Hill 2018