asymmetries
Nicola Cayless.
Looking for light in words.





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I stood in the rain and cried
and smoked a cigarette and let
the water slice me open. I am a letter
and you are the paperknife. I am bleeding inside.
Cut me open and find the source. Cut me open and find
the fountain, let the river flow, let the snow melt, let the dam burst,
let me feel something that isn’t just an icy road in winter.

eagle’s keep

There is a skylight in my bedroom,
and beneath it, a nest,

A chair where I perch,
watch the mess encroach upon my island.

And sometimes there are cries
at the bottom of the stairs, but still

I sit, and smoke cigarettes, and watch
the sky stream through.

I am an eagle watching the world
go by like daytime television, 

Bored, morbidly interested,
drinking coffee and waiting for the tide

To pull me back to sea.
I wonder who is the moon, here,

If it is me, with my knee highs and white shirt,
or if it is the one crying at the bottom 

Of the stairs. If it is they, they need
to pull harder. I cannot feel

Them in my nest. I can only watch
the waves. 

She was a wildfire, spitfire,
bloodfire, heartfire. 

the skeleton in your neighbourhood

I am the skeleton
who lives in your neighbourhood,
wrapping fingers ‘round flowers,
and dies.

I am the voice
at the edges of phone calls,
those lingering moments
and sighs. 

I am the woman
who drifts on the wind,
reaching out for the sunset
and skies. 

I am the girl
you killed in the bathtub, when you
told her you were nothing
but lies. 

I am the memory
who sits in your dreams,
and whispers sweet words,
and cries.

Another awkward slam face of mine for you all. (I don’t understand why I always look weird when I do slam pieces.)
❝ If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

— Farewell Letter, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, upon finding out he has terminal cancer & retiring from public life.

I laughed and laughed until they wrapped their hands around my heart and squeezed, and suddenly, short of breath, I am bursting everywhere all at once and it is terrifying.

Anonymous :  I feel so tired, darling. My family is collapsing and burying me in the debris, and my boyfriend's schizophrenia is acting up so I don't know what's real with him right now. Any suggestions, love? What do you do when your world falls apart?

I wish I could wrap you in my arms and tell you it’s all going to be okay, but I suspect those aren’t the words you need right now. I’m so sorry it’s all very hard right now, but I want to let you know that even though you feel like you’re shattering, you’re still whole in the very core of you - I don’t know what we do when the world is like this. I could tell you smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and cry, but that won’t do anything to change it. I think maybe the best thing you can do now is take it day by day: remembering each day, that you are whole and strong, even when you feel like your skin has melted away and everything is raw. Deep inside of you, you are warm. And this day will pass.

"What are we holding onto, Sam?"
"That there’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for."

the spoon theory

They tell me, count your spoons,
Cradle them to your chest, don’t
let them go for anybody but yourself.
Drink soup, and sleep.

I am looking at my hands
and I think my fingers are turning
into coffee-spoons. I am scooping
at life, and only ever picking up
sand, and they are pulling at my joints,
and I am exploding in a thousand
directions.

I need forks, you see, or knives,
something I can cut through the world with,
and drink from the nectar within.
I am too much of a thunderstorm,
not enough of a rainshower. 
I am pulling at the roots of things.

And they are telling me,
keep your spoons, 
scoop pudding and dream.

And I am telling you,
I want to set the world on fire.
Give me matches, and I will burn the steel
down.

I know my poetry lately has been rather ordinary, but I’m just so excited that I’m writing again, after months of drought.