Poetry: Selections from Kayleigh Cutforth

Mother Under the Dresser

crossing the threshold
nostrils assaulted with the
acrid morning must
of sweat and smoke
I try not to breathe
Sheets jostled
strewn across the bed
pillows abandoned I call
out your name once twice
a slice of dusty noon
light illuminates you
lying on your side
underneath the dresser
I step towards you
Crumpled like a pile of washing
you mumble something like -
‘Get the pastor’ or maybe
‘Get the pasta’
I never did work out which


you would think that after
the distressing mint tingle
in the Cotswolds last summer
that I
would have learnt my lesson
but here I am
in warm gingerbread spice
feeling the burn
and wondering
if the definition of insanity

Loaded Words
That time I threatened to deck you. I’m not sure why I said that. You were right to pull away from me, and I felt the distance as though it were a vast gulf between us. You were right to find better friends. And though I can’t excuse it, what I can say is this –
I was missing something significant.
Though I didn’t know what that something was at the time, I know now ***
You were - still are - the most beautiful human I have ever met. So, when I told you that you had no eyelashes, it was because I was drowning in an ocean of jealousy. And the only way I could fight the tide was to find something -anything -
to make you less perfect. ***
Funny, how we spent most of the time together, despite the fact I was dating your brother –although dating is not exactly how I’d describe it, I’m not sure I ever figured out what it was really.
Then it was over.
And even though nothing really changed, I thought about you a lot.
I think you did too.***
Long and lanky with missing teeth and covered in scribbles. And a leather belt with a silver skull buckle. I didn’t fancy you at all. But the laughs -
the laughs changed everything, didn’t they?***
About a year too late – roughly- though I can’t say for sure. I hardly knew you at all but I think we probably would’ve been wonderful.
I would’ve feasted on your mind and body -

Kayleigh Cutforth has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing and is about to embark on a Publishing MA at The London College of Communication. She has a number of publications and an impressive rejection pile. She is the editor of literary journal MONO.


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