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Dalhousie Poets: layers and time

Layer by layer


Torn down to the bulb at the centre of her,  

She was afraid.  

Everything she was composed of  

Built outward from that undiluted disturbance of self,  

And from that hatred,  

And then rage,  

And then the pulp of the rest of her, bleached white from being washed up and  

Dried on loathing.  

She feels, more often than she would like,  

The reality of her whole self being  

Titrated through the nothingness of existence.  

Here, gone,  

There is only the difference of what we know, which is  

Again, nothing.  

Often, behind closed eyelids,  

It seems very probable, to the point of immanence even,  

She will dissolve, leave, seamlessly 

Integrate back into the void from which she came,  

Full of silver swimming dots and blue  

Haze and questions free from the anxiety of needing an answer.  

She finds herself to be unreal upon close,  

Scrutinizing, painful 

Inspection. She finds herself at large wanting  

To exist, but at the core, in the centre,  

At the ticking of her heart next to your ear,  

Loud enough to 

Burst a drum, hating it,  

Hating the constraints, hating the  

Hardness of it all, wanting  

To let go.  

You made her feel inadequate upon  

Her already earthquake ravaged core.  

That is not your fault.  

You’re not to blame that she  

Cries when she feels joy, already  

Untethered enough, already  

Swimming, already  

Despising you for making her feel anything at all.  

She weaves chains throughout,  

To tie her to the earth windblown 

Tumbling across minefields and continents,  

Not so much like anchors as  

Heartstrings, or veins pumping hot  

Lava blood. Chains are  

Wishes. Chains are  

People we  

Die in pieces for, but  

Always whole in the end,  

In her core,  

There is no end.  

She is never often here,  

The last time that happened was 

Before she started to think, how  

Well she can despise  

herself, how  

Easy it is to find the empty  

Aching ringing echoes 

In her body, without  

Your love and  

Your hate. 

(Artwork by Elina Cecilia Giglio on Blush)

One time

I live my life on edges  

Like this one time I was on the brink of understanding love that doesn’t die  

But fear came out in dry sobs and I woke up after the tsunami,  

Just a ghost,  

And not even haunting the same place anymore 

The edges materialize as nights  

Like this one time I was running in the rain and you caught up to me  

And told me you had loved me since September  

But miscommunication and mistakes became a barbed wire fence 

Like a shadow  

I thought I could see it but then the lights turned on 

Dalhousie Poets is a rotating column in the Gazette’s Art & Lifestyle section featuring poetry by students on various subjects. Interested in submitting your verse? Email 


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