It Never Heard That

I don’t want to remember exactly how I was or who I was before you,
and I know that isn’t what this world wants to hear,
but it never listened to the beat of my broken heart
or caught the pain in my eyes anyway.
It never heard the way I hated myself when dawn hit my window
and sliced its way through the mountains of maybe next time
I won’t hurt myself, but for now just cut these colours
easy enough to taste something less bitter than I am.
It never heard that. It never listened to the way I could gulp and howl
under the light of a full moon, a new moon, of any moon,
of a sick and sculpted summer moon that hung above the grime
I pretended not to notice. It never heard that. It never listened
to my voice calling out from the dark when every last light in me
had been dimmed, it never came to chase the shadows or the monsters
that waited to lunge the second the lights went out.
It was never there to shine hope into my darkened heart or hear the cries
of my soiled soul. It never heard that. I never knew that silence
with you whispered the most extraordinary tales, and sitting
in the way of sunsets with you shifted the ugly inside of me,
and burst beautiful rays into the dark of my eyes.
I don’t want to remember who I was when I was without you,
but I do, and I will, and perhaps remembering how cold it was in the dark
will never let me forget how I can hear the warmth in the light.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

A Cosmic Disappointment

I drink

and I scream

and I curse the stars,

and still you are here,

blaring in my fucking veins.

Nicole Lyons 2017

Most Days

I don’t know if I will ever

know the truth of us,

and what could have been,

what should have been,

what will never be.

But I do know I loved you

and I think you may

have loved me too,

and most days

that is enough.

Nicole Lyons 2017

Robbing Air

I don’t want to live this life anymore,
but you are pinks and deep hues,
the tangerine clouds behind sunsets
that giggle and puff themselves
into the shape of my mother,
when she slouched proudly
against the cupboards that robbed my air.
You are the pink of her that opened
the doors on their mothers
getting busy with our uncles,
and the red screeching from a pillowcase
bursting with the Siamese kittens they drowned.
You are deep hues and an ugly reminder
of small towns and smaller minds,
stroked once and cut twice
from a life, we are all running from.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

I Know You Too

I know you know me.
By the ache
in your bones
and the pulse
in your veins,
you know me,
and God help you,
I know you too.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

The Keeper of Time

I swear to God, I am not proud of it,
this wishing and unwishing,
and the wishing and unwishing of more,
as if that could make these things be something
or nothing, or take them all away,
or even add a maybe to them all.
This wishing and unwishing are killing me.

If I could go back and take it all back,
or change it all I would,
God help me, I would.
There are so many things I would change
and so many things I couldn’t,
and wouldn’t, and would never want to,
but if I started to change one thing,
I would never stop.

I would wish to be the keeper of time
to whisper my secrets to you,
and we would sit beyond time and I would tell you

You can change this. I have kept your time.
I have kept your seconds.
I have kept your wishes and your memories
and your love here, in this notebook,
and I give it back to you now
with an eraser and a pencil.
And I would look there, on your notebook,
on its dog-eared edges and its faded cover,
and I would wish for brighter colours and
I would say to you,

Here is the notebook of your life,
the notebook of your time,
and I am giving it back to you.
I am giving you this one pass,
as the keeper of your time
and the keeper of your sins,
I give them back to you.

I give you back your dreams,
rewrite them.

Write it all, and don’t write it
as if you were afraid

of what people would think.

Don’t write it as if
you haven’t been given a second chance
upon a first chance,

because you haven’t.
But still, write it.


I, as the keeper of your time,

and the chronicler of your memories,
give you this page and this pencil,
and I ask you to write without fear,
without consequence,
without hope or sorrow,
I ask you to write, so write.

I can not reset time,
I can not make things right
as you see them be,
because your right is wrong
in everyone else’s eyes,
in cosmic eyes that stare down at us all.

Don’t read the rewrite,
and I will keep you secretly,
and give you this page and this pencil to write
all of the things you wanted to write,
all of the things you wanted to keep,
all of the things you wanted to change,
all of the things that are time and are not,
and will not or never be,
and I ask you to write it solidly,
without despair, without guilt, without question.

Write your rewrite that I can never grant you,
and sign your name to the bottom of it, proudly.
For there is nothing wrong with a rewrite,
in this life or in others, there is nothing wrong
with wanting a rewrite, even if we love
our stories and the way they began
with a once upon a time and ended
with a happily ever after,
because you are many stories.
You are a great book of love, and loss, and light,
and the wisdom of your pages, between your pages
could never be rewritten into the stories that are.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Under Your Bed

I have loved as I have never been loved,
and in loving as I have never been,
I have held the hands of gods
and laid weeping before the closed fists
of disappointment dripping with my own blood
and barely skimming forgiveness.
Perhaps it will come to me,
this love, a love, beneath your bed,
behind the curtains or under you mother
and her Sunday night dinner,
the one I was invited to
before the devil tickled my back
and your angels scorched my belly.
I wear these marks well,
my kisses from heaven
and my brushes with hell,
yet here I am on my knees again,
looking for the love you dropped under your bed.
I know it’s here somewhere,
amongst the monsters and the memories,
making friends with the lonely socks
missing their mates, and reaching
inside the crumpled wrappers,
the pink ones that burst the stars
upon your tongue before he broke the door down
and taught you all the ways you should never love.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Her Belt

I wonder if she thought of me
when she cinched her belt,
and if she had to punch
extra holes in the leather
before she did it,
and if it was real leather
or as fake as we were.
I wonder these things,
and quickly follow up
my wondering with more,
like why I am this way,
and if I was the one
who handed her that belt
when I walked into her life
and took it from her.
Living feels hard
when death comes calling,
whispering names
that sound like yours,
but dying seems easy
when life comes calling,
shouting names
that should have been hers.
And maybe that is why
I wonder about that fucking belt
more than anything else.
That belt would have served me better,
holding up the weight of this life
she would have lived
fuller than I have.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

All Of The Cynics Are Left Instead

All of the stars in me are falling
all of the waves have breached the banks.
All of the hope in me is spiralling,
all of the hate has been given thanks.
All of the love in me is aching,
all of the pain has come to dance,
all of the light in me is flickering,
all of the darkness has another chance.
All of the life in me is weeping,
all of the death has come to call.
All of the ships I sailed are sinking,
all of the heavens have begun to fall.
All of the faith in me is breaking,
all of the will has met its end,
all of the giving has turned to taking,
all of the evil has become my friend.
All of the words have turned to dust,
all of the poetry has lost its soul,
all of the music has stopped playing,
all of the burdens have taken their toll.
All of the magic has lost its lustre,
all of the believers have gone to bed,
all of the artists have given up,
all of the cynics are left instead.

© Nicole Lyons 2017

Nothing To Say

There is nothing to be said about the way you hover over me,
nothing about the way you grind your hips and your filth
against me from somewhere inside places, I have never been.
There is nothing to be said about the way you breathe,
hot and filled with rage, against the back of my neck
when I write your ugly truths into existence
and when I speak my words above yours.
There is something to be said about the way
a woman’s voice carries, though, and it crosses oceans,
climbs mountains, and charges through wastelands,
gaining speed and strength with every ear it tickles.
But there is nothing to be said of the shoulders
too weak to hold the weight of those voices,
the ears too ignorant to listen,
and the mouths too vile to spit anything other than hate.
No, there is nothing much to say about any of that,
but you can be damn sure I am going to say it.

© Nicole Lyons 2017