Three Poems by Lucy Cundill

A previous version of “Carnivore” has been published in Squeeze 2020: UEA Creative Writing Anthology

rorschach’s nose bleed

Rorschach’s nose bleed, 
you don’t sit on the paper like you ought to,
 – you twist and turn and try 
to defy shape.
you try to defy everyone – it’s the only thing that lets you get away.

Turn the lions off at the light switch, 
let’s make this easier, 
(or just easy enough)
Don’t you know that god’s not up ‘til morning;
It’s just us and the sun. 

Sit on a hill top and think about what it feels like to conquer something.
You could, learn a lot of lessons that
way, 
but you just don’t listen. So, pass away –
secrets between your index fingers, because you’re too good for conversation, 
and too proud to admit that you make things difficult.

The sunrise will last for hours here, 
it’s waiting for you to fix the difference. 
But you were always more for ambulances than apologies, 
I look at our history and want to swallow it, 
(understandably)

“There’s a pack of wild dogs inside of me,”
You say it like a courtesy, like it hasn’t been obvious
since the beginning. 
I know what prey means. 
never mind. 
the night is still bright and the day is still slumbering –
This is a window of opportunity. 
This is what they like to call change, isn’t it?
You call it musical chairs,
and decide that you have no more time for dancing. 
i don’t get a word in edgeways.
but it doesn’t matter anyway –

Every room feels like a cavern, an executioner’s waiting room –
places to sit and think 
about the wrong things to think
and the wrong things to do. 
You’re heavy-handed but you’re kind about it, 
you cut lines into my skin and tie the ends up like bowstrings, 
I think about ballrooms and peace of mind, 
you think about finishing lines and two canine teeth. 

Because the whole world, as far as I’m concerned
can peer into the mess we’ve made –
But, the vision of what was, is something
that no one can ever replicate.

sometimes

wanting you, sometimes feels
like a search light beam sliding
over my body, floating, half-
drowned in the ultramarine,

living with you, sometimes
feels like being exiled to a coastal town,
putting everything you had behind you,
and never wanting to go back.

looking at you, sometimes feels like
watching Michelangelo paint the
ceiling of the sistine chapel, in the
morning light,

loving you, sometimes
feels like a hand to hold in a dark room
and knowing that your body stands
closer to the light-switch than mine.

carnivore

turn off the light.
forget how it looks.

forget how it makes you look at me. 
turn off my body turn off my spine,
turn me into pieces. 
turn me into memories. it’s what you’re good at. 
do what you’re good at.
you’re a child in a bear skin coat. 
you’re going where the praise is. 
you’re headed for the promised land
where they love you not for who you were but for who
you promised you were going to be.

make a lot of promises. it’s easy until it’s not.
it’s easy until you have to sit alone
in the room full of broken things knowing
that you broke them. i go there a lot. 
it’s where we see each other the most. sometimes,
i too,
am just a child wearing a bear skin coat.
but mostly i’m just wearing a mask. but come
on, can you blame me?
you’ve seen the way people look at each other when they’re hungry.
well baby, that’s not me – i’m just tired.
don’t look at me with pity,
just think up a good excuse. or do one better –
find something to appease god with, when
he comes here looking for my body.
do me a favour and i’ll do you three. 
and i’ll forget who i’ve always been. 
turn the lights off. i could be anyone. let
me be anyone.
is that what you want?
or are you still undecided?
or are you still a child in a bear skin coat looking
for the light switch?
fuck it, fine. it’s alright, you’re undecided,
an uninvited, a needy, needless, carnivore
who can’t latch his teeth into anything
and mean it enough to draw blood.
i get it. it’s about theatrics,
it’s about pretending, it’s about going to sleep at night.
we all have teeth, we all have appetites we just can’t all stomach the pain we cause when we bite.

it’s okay.
turn off the light.

forget how it looks.

About The Author

Lucy Cundill is a poet and prose fiction writer from Chesterfield, England, now living in Norwich, England, where she studies English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her work is emotional and sometimes abstract, exploring ideas of love, relationships, mortality, and theology, and their effects on the human consciousness. She has been published in The Writers’ Café Magazine, Full House Literary Magazine, Concrete, the Life Lines zine, and the UEA Undergraduate Creative Writing Anthology. Her work can be found @futile.devicez on Instagram.

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