Three Poems

Lindsay Vaughan


Bare blue luminescence in the mornings,
a yellow room with yellow curtains
and no pictures on the walls.
She stands before the mirror


the husk of twilight, the sticky residue
of dreamstuff—she retains
imprints overnight, becomes the fossil
of the girl she used to be.

Volem tebe, volem tebe,
ti si drvo pod kojim ležim
ti si nebo iznad mene
ti si mesec i zvezde
ti si moje sve

She was a fleshy radiator,
a steam generator—gliding
through the halls like
an unseen ghost,


the husk of morning, stayed awake
all night, the rain pounding the
pavement, her feet growing wings
in a wet tennis court.

volem tebe, volem tebe,
ti si drvo pod kojim ležim
ti si nebo iznad mene
ti si mesec i zvezde
ti si moje sve

When did we become
autumn leaves, brown and shriveled,
crunchy underfoot,
sadly nihilistic,

desirous of nothing?



Alan tells me I’m like an artist
forever on the brink of suicide
and I know he’s right, as I sit here
surrounded by plates and mugs,
grapes still on the vine, an empty
plastic cup and an accidental
cutlery statue.

There is a box of typewriter ribbons to my left,
a copy of Women by Bukowski,
a small bag of beads
and a letter from a friend,
written on neon pink paper—
“I was raped at the age of six.”

The bookshelf is heaving, and so am I;
all this debris of modern life
is drowning me in my own bedroom.
The phone rings and it’s an old woman
speaking Pig Latin; I ignore the doorbell
and the postman shoves a note through
the letterbox— “I left your parcel
in the trashcan”.

I haven’t spoken to my father in two years,
and my mother has been ignoring me
since Christmas.
A three-headed frog was on the news
the other day, and a little girl
stared blankly into the camera—
“We thought it was cool.”

The world turns so very slowly
and here I sit,
like the wick without the wax,
burning for the sake of being burnt.


Life With Narcissus

You gave:

a book. a doll. a box full of string
for making jewelry.
I searched behind the pillows.
the curtains. beneath cushions and chairs
until I found them.

You said:

“I know what you’re looking at.”

We gave:

angel food cake. wine.
peanut butter cookies with too much salt.
we threw handfuls of confetti
that landed in your hair and on the doorstep.

We said:

“I’m sorry.”

She gave:

small toys, lined up on the piano
as I played. a flower. a thimble. a green
plastic dinosaur. pictures of places
I’d always wanted to visit.

She said:

“I don’t know where to go anymore.”

We asked for:

a smile. a tear. an evening spent
listening to old music. a moment of
stunning realism during
a conversation at the dinner table.

You gave:

silence. a stoic expression.
tabletops covered in origami cranes.
A mouthful of teeth for gnashing;
images of God from a distance.



Lindsay Vaughan is a 21-year-old Sociology major in Leeds, England. In her spare time she takes care of her cat and two bunnies, procrastinates in her coursework, and writes a paltry amount of poems every year. E-mail: lindsay[at]

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