Nicola Cayless.
Looking for light in words.

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Have you heard the sparrow song
carried by the autumn breeze?
Last night, the Lord sighed
and melodies drifted across
dewy fields. Music caught me there,
lying still in the meadow, surrounded by
edelweiss and lavender, and I gazed at the moon.

The moon craters are so round,
are they not? As round as your moonshine eyes.

I hope the Father’s wrath will not destroy me
before I have the chance to make love to you
in this evergreen field. The grass here is softer
than silk sheets, softer than satin cheeks,
softer than words of comfort from a lover
as I shed tears in the early morning.
I have made you my goddess,
my Aphrodite, my erotic muse.

Can I call this love?

Storm clouds hover on the horizon,
and I hope that the rain will be warm.
When the thunder rolls over me,
when my meadow is shaken by winds that howl,
I will remember your sacred words:

"Look to the moon, and I will be there."

Oh Lord, do not destroy me
before I can praise my Aphrodite. 

The Seine

—And all I really want (besides your fingers running along my collarbone) is for the Seine to flow through my veins. This maroon fire that runs through my arteries, twisted like traintracks, this burning blood, it is summoned too easily by steel. I want the waters of the Seine to flow through me. I want to feel the current of Paris within my ventricles. When you kiss me, I want to smell French flowers in the gardens behind the Notre Dame.

—And all I really want is for you to hold me close (anywhere but here) on a Parisian balcony. If we could watch the moon rise and fall, like the chest of a slumbering lover, I think I would be content. The stars would be veiled by the softest cloud, softer than silk sheets, and we would have to hope. We’d take long and quiet train trips to the south, and when we woke from our waking slumber, we’d step out into the cornfields of Provence, and there would be the starry night. The stars are there, please remember that. Please remember that the night is bright and full of colours, and that the Seine flows inside me.

—And every time we kiss, it will be as though lightning has struck riverwaters and sent a shudder through the city. Paris will come alive within me, shuddering awake in the hour before dawn, when everything is just out of focus and your eyes are blurred. When you run your calloused fingertips across my cheekbone, from hours of caressing the fretboard in preparation for my spine, bakeries will come alive and I will smell the freshest bread rise. I will taste purest melted chocolate in my mouth as your tongue travels down my neck. Paris is a city that takes time to rest, but when it wakes, it is full of vibrance and hope.

—And all I really want to do before I die is live in a Parisian apartment over looking the river (with a balcony that I can smoke cheap cigarettes on);
and to make love to you, to feel the Seine flow inside my heart.

He called me Sophie instead of Monica when we’d been married for twelve years. I would have forgiven him, pretend I hadn’t heard him, if it had been when he breathed sharp and the stars exploded, but instead it had been a quiet, ‘Will you pass the orange juice, Sophie?’ over breakfast. My breath hitched and my heart thumped and he smirked at me, but I passed the orange juice anyway.

The world is quiet here.

Lemony Snicket

à cache-cache

Ah, I found you.
You were hiding in the candlewick.

I have been burning these candles
for years, you see. You were with me
when I bought them, scented rose,
lavender and chamomile tea.
You wanted to put them in the loungeroom,
to create ‘ambience’, you said, when we had guests over.
You would play Satie and speak in low caramel voices
of avant-garde film and yellowing poetry.

I hid them away beside the bathtub.
You frowned but said nothing.

I would take long warm baths
every Sunday evening,
and sometimes you would join me
and we would make slow love.
The candlelight would caress my skin
more gently than you, you who would leave
bruises on my clavicle and fingerprints
on my ribcage.

One day,
you disappeared.
Erik Satie, Chopin, Debussy,
scattered to the wind. You even took
half the green tea leaves we had, the fresh ones,
that we drank every morning before work.
I thought about looking for you,
running outside, gliding through the rain,
calling your name in desperate cries,
all cliché, and what they liked to call

I took a long warm bath instead,
and lit the candles. I listened to the water whisper
whenever I would move my aching ankles,
my stiff wrists. When I slowly, gingerly
climbed out of the bathtub,
I blew out the rose, lavender,
chamomile candles—

and there you were,
a glimmer of your smile
tucked away within the wick
of the candle. 

I do not have anything to write anymore. Is it possible to be too sad to write?

Perhaps I will find romance
beneath the cafe au lait skin of my wrists,
beating within my royal blue veins,
flowing within my tempestuous arteries.
Perhaps if I slice my skin open with the
sharpened key, I will unlock that sensation
I lost when you left me. 

The air today is thin and cold
and the clouds that gather across
the silken sky are black, angry,
destructive. When I breathe,
my lungs are filled with
& simply I long for
carbon dioxide.

I look at the world
through a yellowing film,
as if everything has been captured
in a nostalgic photographic cage.
My ribcage is simply that, a prison
which binds my beating heart to be
constrained to flesh and blood when
all I want to pulse is the night.
Can not the dark fill my arteries,
and not the sun?

turn off the light,
my head is pounding
and I would like to sleep
some more. 

Today I want to be very quiet until I can no longer hear and no longer feel and no longer be.

I would really very much just like to write in Paris, drinking too much coffee and wearing dresses that swirl when I spin.