My name is Isabelle and I’m an English Literature student going into my fourth year at the University of St Andrews. I’ve been writing for a lot of my life but never really thought of it as poetry until a few years ago.
nobody knew her, the lost girl only ever seen stroking the hair of a young boy who spoke cardboard promises of love with her face turned away and a mouth full of lies, she lay not listening, but having nothing to say lonesome bird when he’d asked if she wanted to fly her wings stretched open wide over time she saw that this freedom has its flaws the cage that now kept her was never big enough to swoop or soar but the cage could be smaller (still the boy’s hair needed stroking) so there she lay, obedient as a cuckoo clock not listening, but having nothing to say
do i gather them like mementos like train tickets and plane tickets magnets wristbands and nametags or chewed up pieces of gum these shirts from different boys i’ve known scrunched up and tucked up into the closet and under the bed someday i wonder if the memory will leak out of them like blood that forms a pool under the wardrobe door swimming across the floor climbing up into my bed falling asleep next to me as if nothing’s wrong i’m in bed with it sharing sheets with it eating my mind up with the idea of it let me wring it out of my bunches wash it out of my mouth take them all back tick them off the list ensure none are missed i’m not a storage cupboard for the shit you should be taking to your therapist i’m sweeping you out all your dust and mites and scraps and leaves let me testify to the way you fright me the way no one believed me the way you still move freely how can you still see me see me look at me here and tell me you did nothing wrong
the feminine urge
to run away with someone to elope the someone who is not perfect but is just here right now to forget about everyone else to never pick up the phone again to drive and drive down roads well-travelled to watch embers glow and seasons change to dance to swim in cold waters to hold each other to shout and scream into a waterfall to share everything to squeeze tight to feel freedom for a second longer to share the last biscuit to hog the air bed to burn yourself on the camping stove to bicker to fight to miss home and wish everything hadn’t moved so fast that feminine urge to push everything away good or bad to leave to get your heart broken and lie down in the sadness to smother yourself in grief pull the duvet up over your head to not know why to stop the movement to go back to a place you’ve always known and forget the person you thought you knew to know that life is not a line you read in a book to take leave to be by yourself to be yourself to elope on your own to tell no one about it to keep a secret and never tell a soul