but there are fossils in language too by Kayleigh Cassidy


but there are fossils in language too


when we talk about

ourselves post breakup

why do we preserve our

exceptionalism? why

do we crave pity to fill us

like the blue in the wings of

the jewel beetle at messel pit?


at messel pit

lost animals remain.

we see history

and say ‘wow

look’ ‘what do

you know’ ‘I wish I’d

discovered that’


at messel pit there is fur on some of the fossils

a snapshot of a lost world.

nostalgia is blue but also rose-

tinted memories of the best times

‘oh why oh why do

things have to die’ change,

die again. skin shadows on fossil.


on the surface, the mud is neutral.

clean clay. spade.

how do we know where to dig?

under the surface, mud is truth.


Kayleigh Cassidy is a dyslexic writer, comedian and visual artist who studied Creative Writing at Birkbeck. She was long listed for the MIR Folktale competition and is a writer and performer in How to survive Your Life podcast. Her writing and collages have been published by TOKEN, Rollick and 3:am magazine as well as Ertoplasty and Visual Verse. Kayleigh likes walking and during lockdown has really got into jigsaw puzzles. 

10 February 2021