corrine klug CC
The streetlamps are a different colour at home
so everything fits in the orange stitch of patchwork black,
playing out in the morning midnight margin.
That jaundiced city swallowing me on the downhill,
the bulb that left the fuzzy image of a sun on the
bathroom window, hands on a cistern. Always sounds
worse than it is. Not like the white beams on the metro,
it’s casting a park bench solid gold, a park bench partner
radioactive glow and for the most part that’s what I remember.
Or the square of light stain static on the bar top, burning a hole
in the varnish and swinging between that unseen pain of
being unseen and all the things I swear are inscribed on my face.
the shock of living had worn off
the tepid shower, the missed bus
the embarrassing itch and the mysterious aches
cinema darkness, hallway darkness
a burnt tongue roadside vomit
the dirty and complicated sadness
the fear of God and of men in general
hitting the water, burning a hole
and never looked at you with an ounce of mercy
and tweezers and fake rules and crazies
that always want and never got
and the handful of statistical certainties
A cigarette butt, a bloodstain, a birthday,
all the shards I collect of you.
My hoarder hands and my hoarder heart,
a shrug, a blink, a brush.
A shift of the hips as if I never felt it
and you carry so much of me in your back pocket.
An ashtray purse, an ashtray voice,
you touch me once and every itch comes back.
Lungful of dust, a Pompeii pilgrim
who could’ve sworn there was something holy here.
a sweet tooth too big for my jaw, every word a weight
my mother’s fist the size of a human stomach, a scale staring
bathroom tile white as a plate, a portion more than a palm
makes the aunties talk, makes bathroom cubicles changing rooms
makes shame grow like bread mould, like fruit rot
a gut the size of God swallow you whole gag you back up
those fingers yanked every one of my milk teeth, socket bleed salt
put the problem on the table made me promise to stop
cut the apple cheeks on enamel white as a plate, white as a knuckle
gut the fridge, spit the bones into the bookshelf
stuff wrappers in the pages, pressed flowers then
my entire garden on the kitchen counter
syllables cutlery, a silver tongue
all knives and knives and knives
sitting, spine curled, like a fist
Anna Nunan is a Politics and Sociology student at University College London. She is from Ukraine and Australia.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.