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Poetry by Laura M. Nicol

You are Nothing to Me
Philosopher Queen
.22
Published April 13, 2016
Wax Poetry and Art - Contests
Poetry Contest #11
Socially Engaged & Satirical Poetry Contest #1
Under 25 Poetry Contest #1
Prize-Builder Contest for Published & Unpublished Poems #1
~ Wax Poetry and Art: Laura M. Nicol ~
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You Are Nothing To Me

Everything came from nothing, or so you
rainbow-chasing physics-types would have us believe.
It’s the energy of the vacuum, you say,
making space with the hands
I’d fill, if my own weren’t
so full already.

No matter. We’re matter and anti-matter:
You’re into the origins of life
and I like to kill things
by tossing them overboard in semantic shoes.

I remind you that a vacuum is by definition
empty, and to speak of energy in vacuums to
a girl like me is dangerous
nonsense.  You’ll get yourself
annihilated,
talking like that.

You disappear before I can explain that

a definition is the only thing
between you and me and
oblivion.
If anything can be everything,
you and I are nothing.
And I don’t have
the space for that.


Philosopher Queen

Those shorts look good on you.
White polyester with a satin finish, they
fall to your knees and flicker
in the trees ahead like the light
of all being, like The Good itself.

I run as though I don’t know
the rules: that we must be good, girls,
yet never seek it for ourselves.

Stay cool. Choose analysis
over synthetics.
In essence, don’t fuck
with The Form of things.

But it’s hard to run in this gown.
And the chill can’t keep the smell down,
of root work and ready earth,
and minerals starshot.

You outstrip me,
double back, draw a loop,
prancing in those shorts
as I heave on my knees. In my throat
the taste of supernovae.


.22

We got the dog to keep the chickens safe
but she ate them instead. A goner then,
and my sister cried
to hear the shot. But the bitch
was blooded and there’s no coming back
from that.

Though I returned last year,
my keening pitched
too high for human ears, the music
loud to hide the sound
of claws scuttling
truck bed, choke chain
taut with want and twist
of island road.

No .22 for me,
but I’d go to ground for you
at twenty-two
in cedars and salt,
dryland musk and skunk cabbage funk,
the air the map the distance between
the swell and pulse
of your throat
and my mouth.


Biography
Laura M. Nicol: My essays have appeared in The Globe and Mail and my
fiction in
The Malahat Review (online). I am currently at work on a master's
in creative writing through the UBC optional-residency program.
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Wax Poetry and Art
Poetry Contest #10 Results
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
"January Joggers"
9. "Heartlab: 20 Year X-Ray"
10. "Never Left the Flowing..."

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