Tight, tight skin, and the room rings. It matters.
This is February, so she dissolves
smiley faces of vitamin C in oceanic
glasses of water, eyeballs herself and thinks
and someone visits and juggles everything in the fruit bowl
even the grapes, but she binds her face
in white scarves, smears marjoram on her hands. Her
eyes are stethoscopes, her lungs
broken harmonicas, she sees
each minute as a grain of brown rice
laid out on a table, death locked
in scummy bones and staggers
upstairs to Google -osis, -osis!
join the dots between
her skin crackling under cotton, rattling
beneath bracelets of eczema, camel-shaped bruises, bitter moths
and the dirt on the window -
the world glows, glows.
check her fingertips for flames.
Annie is one of the 2009 Faber New Poets. She was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year in 2006 and 2007. She has had poems published in Magma, Mimesis and Voice Recognition and was a prize winner in the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2007. She is currently studying for a Classics degree at Cambridge University.