Archive for March, 2009

“PO Box 332, Salford – Tell me your secrets, I will respond”

by Annie Clarkson

Love is the advert on the toilet door. It is the letter I sent to PO Box 332, not knowing if it existed, but I had a whole long list of secrets I needed to tell someone. Love is the reply I got saying ‘I think you got the wrong address, but here’s the number of a good counsellor’.

Love is the two years of therapy that helped me to say my own name out loud without feeling ashamed. It is the imaginary chair I pretended was my brother, and the letter I wrote to him that I ripped into confetti and threw at his wedding.

Love is the support group that helped me learn to hug again without feeling nauseous, and it’s the man who gave me a tissue every time I cried. It is the first date I went on after reading the toilet door. It is Prozac and temazepam and my self-harm scars.

Love is my best mate Sandra who gave me a place to stay, even though she’d juts had twins. Actually, love is her twins who don’t have a clue about the toilet door, or Prozac or my brother.

It is finally letting go of all this and walking down the road thinking that life’s not bad for a change. It is the postman who smiles at me, and a good breakfast with the Sunday papers and two boiled eggs while Sandra is upstairs getting the twins ready and I’m thinking maybe this is a good time to stop taking the Prozac. Yes, love is this moment. Right now.

Annie Clarkson is a poet and short fiction writer from Manchester, she blogs at


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