A Thousand Words

[Image description: collage of black and white magazine page on blue paint background]

By Amelia A J Foy

A collection of words and images about love, cities, and anxiety.
(Below each picture is a transcript of what the text on the images read.)

You (excerpt)
[Image description: collage of black and white magazine photo on blue painted background with poem text over it.]

the skies in London hold no stars and my fingers hold too much space between them
I want your hand against my hand
your skin against my skin
to breathe you in until the world stops spinning
and it’s okay again.”

LIFT (Elevator)
[Image description: collage of two squares cut from a magazine, one featuring a figure and one just black, on a background of squiggly lines, with poem text in white pen over the squares.]

I go from high to low like a lift that won’t tell you what floor it’s stopping at
The doors open and you see me standing with tear stains on my cheeks
Bloodshot eyes and tissues
Balled up and mutilated in my hands
You step closer, then back
An inquiry is on the tip of your tongue: “Are you okay?”
But such gentle words carry such heavy implications
“Okay compared to what?” I want to ask. “This morning? Yesterday? Two years ago?”
Time is transient but my mindset is not and
My thoughts are becoming cliches by this point
My inadequacy is a tired trope and being tearful is my ‘quirk’
You may as well ask me, “Is the sky blue?”
When the lift hits the sub-basement I am shrouded
In a blanket made of pine needles
I feel like I want to step out but there’s a 50 foot drop into darkness
And fortunately I am afraid of heights
Nails scrape the metal walls and jar my nervous system
But I cling onto this torture because I know the next floor down is even worse
I wait. I wait till the minutes ticking by sound like drums
(I hear your voice sometimes and it drowns it out)
But time is transient and it saves me
Because the doors stutter shut and like clockwork I head up again
Sunlight saturates my vision, separates it from the darkness below
“Are you okay?”
No. But I’m trying so hard to be.”

Yellow City (excerpt)
[Image description: drawing of four windows with the inside coloured in yellow, and poem text overlaying each one.]
Where one yellow glows rich / and dripping in the basement
And another yellow, milky, / pale, dims on the top floor.”

Dare (by my girlfriend); Truth (by me)

[Image description: collage of poem text on two pages, over a background of a white flower; left poem is in black pen and right poem is in white pen.]

Dare: “Let’s play a game of dare
I’ll start;

I dare you to pull me to pieces
To tear me apart
To soak your hands in my blood to
Rip out my lungs and wear my bones
As a crown.

I dare you to put me back together
To build me a new body to rid me of my imperfections

I dare you to wash your hands with my tears
(That always seem to fall at the
Wrong time).

I dare you
To stay alive.

You know your demons
Inside and out and now
I dare you to put them behind.

I dare you to stay
By my side
To look in my eyes and say, “This
Is where I want to be”
I dare you to face your fears
I dare you to love me

I dare you,
Now it’s your turn.”


Truth: I’ve always picked truth because the

Idea of being dared to do something
In front of faces that don't know why mine goes so red
Is terrifying

I've learnt to perform origami with my body

To fold my paper skin over seven times and at the eighth
I dare you to peel me open again

To smooth out my wrinkles and write that you love me

In a way that'll make the ink stain
Tattoo it on my mind so I don't forget
So I don't regret everything again

I dare you to pick the truth

Tell me everything your tongue can twist
I love the waterfall that falls from your lips
I dare you to be honest with yourself

To love the closeness of your eyes

And what's behind them when they're closed
Tell me the truth when you're angry
Scream at me, let the water run rapid

Sweep me away

Make me cry and bring me pain so I
Know I'm real
Then hold my skull

Open my jaw and
Feed me pearls
I dare you to show me the

And cover my eyes as it burns."


[Image description: pencil drawing with the poem text spread across the page, and a sketch of two figures hugging at the bottom.]

the world is crashing down around us
but not like the movies - we aren’t protagonists
or antagonists, although it sure feels like that sometimes
in the dark…
buildings aren’t falling but a few walls are
a few dams breaking
a few sad songs on our soundtrack
so - kinda like a movie
a tragedy where no-one survives
(but i so badly hope you do)
(because you’re so beautiful - your soul is a gift)
the world is still burning
i am flame and you are
you are… the anchor. the sea.
hold me