By Naoise Gale

I shut my shell and drown the mollusc in bitter lemon. Chew it

With pufferfish lips, drain it, destroy it. A taste of sea spray

And salt on the tongue; outside the Venetian dusk is a silk

Scarf draped over the bolted window, a sweating, drooling

Oil painting. Inside I am sweat patches and mosquito bites,

Rubbed flesh with greedy touch – webbed chafe. Sometimes

I forget I am fat. Forget I have never seen a dick, never got

A first, never been normal weight, Russell Group, society

Star, giggly drunk, cocktails and cock, tidy room, Macbook

Notes, coffee with friends. No – not for me. I am half-obese,

Saggy titted, agoraphobic, pill-stupor, opiate smudge, closed

Cervix, ratty Paper, disgusting bulimic, alone, alone. I want

To be alone. I want to starve silently. I want to be an absence.

Giudecca is beautiful. I am not. I start again.

Naoise Gale is a twenty-year-old Modern Languages student living in Italy. She writes poems, short stories and novellas about mental health and eating disorders. Her work has been published numerous times in Young Writers’ UK anthologies.

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