To hating long distance, mental illness and bad metaphors

I love you like broken glasses.

We can’t stay up,

Frames keep together,

Help you see, but aren’t

Functional for wearing

Not right now.


I want to be a cage.

I want you to feel so confined by my love that nothing bad could ever get in from the outside –

Forgetting that cages also keep things inside, aren’t meant to have windows, are meant to be boxes and stone –  

And people don’t live in cages.

I have to love you,



You know sometimes, I’m so mad:

At parts.

The legs that won’t stay on,

Slide down the nose.

Where is the happiness when these glasses don’t even work correctly?

but I like these glasses,

they suit me.

Opticians always told me I couldn’t see

But I could see just enough to manage without,

Always enough to fit in that bracket but, but – haven’t you been listening? People

Don’t fit in brackets, can’t be measured and exactified, quantified –  put in boxes:

Fall in love with a mathematician and he will define, confine it for you.

But a mathematician and a poet…?

It’s too hard to look at.


But I love you more than reflections of glass,

I love you more than the frames that surround my vision and the eyes caught behind Barriers,




That I can’t write anyway –

When all I can say


Is “I love you”, “you are so brave”,

When I want to fix your glasses

But they’ve been broken as long as I’ve known you.

They say that glasses can be fixed DIY,

Ah looked it up – they say we can use glue-and-paper.

It should be easy.


But you are too far away to see, second

Guessing, what time is right, to lean

Forward, can’t read your words over and

Over again until the hazy outlines form a constant,



336 hours

for 3 days.

My maths is dependent on you,

These numbers that I use to feel better.

I use glasses to make me feel better, a reason

To be solving problems

Like, always, I said too much

Took my glasses off and you realised I had two green eyes behind them

And I scared you because you were talking to these glass pyramids, you thought my eyes were concave, refracting the light that I push out, constantly, regardless-of-reality.

Because I need to be seen as much as I need to see.


Because I still love you more than reflections of glass,

Because I still love you more than the frames that surround my vision and the eyes caught behind barriers.


Truthfully: these glasses have legs that I can walk on;

Lenses that can be adjusted;

A soft line framing my vision;

Turns bleary picture to bright and crisp and accurate.

And I can see you so much better through them.




I was wrong,

Walking hands outstretched with nothing there, to hold

On to –

What is love to the man who uses it as fuel?

What is love without me, to you?

Your manipulation is distorted vision – and I can’t move behind you

Step in step

Shouts and screams of love me back

Love me first

I need me

Stop loving sad men and looking to fix what isn’t you.


For the first time in my life I am standing alone, without a you,

And I don’t know who I am.


My love wears contact lenses now –

And that, is such a fucking bad metaphor.


[Imogen Hay]

Image courtesy of Aike Jansen


The rest of the stories in qmunicreate #12 can be found here.

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