Imagine going back
to before the first panic attack
before the world revealed itself
as the flimsy neon-edged thing it is
and your teeth were intact, once
you had never woken to the dust
of your own enamel in your own mauve mouth
that place supposedly full of kisses
waiting to be given as reward
for winning your brittle, fickle heart.
Once you were not something to unknot
you were whole as Solan pickled plums
once you were unbred by politics
cusping on curiosity not spent
on the daily pounding of persistent anger
imagine if you knew no thieving of breath
no shame of tears in the sticky velour back of a taxi cab
as you wail I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know
and the one person you trust says it’s okay it’s okay it’s okay,
on that untrustworthy machine, your phone,
but it isn’t [okay], but hush, hush, imagine,
before all this somewhere
you were being born
you were a prawn-head, crinkle-butt, flush-face,
you were a speck you were atoms gathering,
weightless space then not
once, you were a moment of want.


It took me a long time
to come into my own,
but now that I’m here
I plan to inhabit me completely.

I plan to eat all the lotuses
turn myself into royalty
learn to cartwheel so that
I may conquer the world
and all its islands upside down.

I plan to watch seven hundred
and thirty sunrises and sets.

Dine on rosebuds and
in place of long legs grow a tail
swish sadness away
like a…

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