Cara Nelissen Literature Poetry

Night Vision

Cara Nelissen

on Fridays someone always wanted espresso
right before closing I got so used to saying
sorry I forgot what it felt like to mean it

I always split our tips to the nickel
I don’t believe in rounding down
everything small becomes something

if you hold it long enough

we carried our vodka in water bottles
fooling no one the city flickered like a dying lamp
everything always on the verge of coming apart

we knew about all the places girls can go
dancing without being grabbed
if anyone tried we said we were married

we didn’t know

what was reaching for us even then
I wondered who each of us would become
if we switched luck we ran down dark streets

unafraid rats scurried under leafless bushes
and I called them wildlife


Cara Nelissen is a queer writer currently living on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She’s an MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia and the Reviews Editor at PRISM international. In her free time, she plays bass for Vancouver rock band Swamp Romance and likes to wander around the forest.