There is a dreadful room. At first there is the lightning
From the mountain that blackens. Shrieks and despair
Will lead to nothing other than vaporisation or hell.
Soon enough, there is only the intermittent wailing and hardening of the walls
Like the lobotomy of the psychiatric ward. It is over, it is over.
They are learning that tears are too valuable –
Perfumed soaps which lather and purge,
They are extravagant and terribly expensive.
The birth records are burning. They are the flamed wings of virgins.
How they scurry from the wind to curl into their deaths.
O insomnia, O nausea, O great lumps of rock in my throat!
The swivel of the weathervane points to someone else,
Am I not precious? Are you sure I am so unlovable?
Even with false teeth and a pompadour, I cannot camouflage myself.
Their pecking in the dirt has stopped and the cadaver
Looks syrupy. God’s raven brings nothing this time;
It perches on the sill throwing around its eyes — its arrow-beak
Is impatient and heavy. It splinters me and at last I implode.
The raven gleefully rolls a rattle under its talons
Which shakes of crystals and little bones.
O impassive wind from ancient times, blow away
This rubble forever. Why must you gouge and expose me?
How you flap and rush under my skins!
The food I eat does not rejuvenate me –
Nor does it re-emerge
Into something that is missing — a heart, a brain, an embryo —
Food does not transubstantiate me
Like it does God.
I am wooden — a peculiar artefact passed from one hand to another.
It shows pictures of emaciated children, dark and hung
And wired to a tree. You turn me over but there are no
Aryan-Nordic features. I do not arrest your attention.
Annie Blake is an Australian-born poet residing in Melbourne. She has had four publications. The “Tenacity of Sin” has been published in Beorh Quarterly (May 2014), “Out of the Cradle” has been published in Haunted Horror Quarterly (May 2014) and “Out of the Cradle” and “The Stunted Sun” have been published in the anthology, We are Dust and Shadow by James Ward Fiction (June 2014). She is a former teacher who reads widely, particularly in the areas of psychology, sociology and philosophy. Annie Blake can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit annieblakethegatherer.blogspot.com.