Poetry: Selections from Kirsty Niven

Most Days I Want to Die
After Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Not all days, yet most days I do.
Most days the darkness envelopes
like a constricting cocoon; barbed,
crumbs in the bed, choking comfort.
The dried Valentine flowers stare,
still in their vase, rusted to crimson
dried blood buds with bowed heads.
Held together miraculously by hairspray.
A wondrous gift, but their heartstring
tug isn’t enough to pull me out.
Roses rather than Sylvia’s tulips,
not so over-excitable or dangerous.

I didn’t expect any flowers at all,
a peacefulness dazing in love – 
echoing in despair’s ungrateful chamber.
The water evaporated a month ago
and the baby’s breath bloomed in
a late and sincere display, delicate
yet snapping me out of stagnancy.
They’ve outlived their way to April – 
maybe I can too if I just don’t move,
ignore the pulsating urge to prune
and pry the veins from my thin wrists.
Today I think that I might want to live.

The Morning After The Ball

Brain pops in the echo chamber,
red wine crusted on my lips.
Cinderella in his dressing gown
afraid to be witnessed here.
Borrowed boat slippers break the quiet
of an HMO on an early morning.
Teetering between bliss and rock bottom
as I sneak to the bathroom.

I follow the breadcrumbs back to bed
afraid to lose even one absent-minded stroke
before the clock strikes noon
and it’s his version of pumpkin time.
Burrowing into his room’s thorny nest,
my naked cuckoo body conspicuous.
Every inch flayed and displayed
but nothing new to these four walls.

Sultry salvation simmers for a while until
a grim mask dons his face, beer fear personified.
He’s kissed more than his share of princesses
and I’m the first to remain a fat frog.
Transformations only in my mind,
it’ll be as if this never happened.

Pinot Noir

A burgundy bloody crust
crumbling to dust flakes
the leftover scabs of soul
aorta orbit
clinging to the cold glass
undisturbed by boiling soap
a stain prophesying
wine rather than tea leaves
we will not die.

Kirsty Niven lives and writes in Dundee, Scotland with her partner and feline quartet. She is an internationally published poet, and her debut chapbook Broken Picture was recently published by Alien Buddha Press. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as POETRY FOR UKRAINE, All Becomes Art – Part 1 and The Scottish Book Trust’s Scotland’s Stories. She has also had poetry published in several journals and magazines, including Lothlorien Poetry Journal, WA International andSylvia Magazine.