Isabelle Cory

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.

stevie’s lullaby

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

the vultures

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

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