April & the headlines announce
the end of the world. although we
have no new words in this time of
metastatic illness we drink raw
almond milk & eat dried fruits,
moiled over & palmed & bruised,
the only kind you can get. in the
empty supermarket aisles, blood-cleaned
& ready for anything, we examine what
remains, consider recovery. we reach
for the high shelves & keep on reaching.
at dinner we eat only from cans;
they keep the dust out. we are catatonic
in our devotion. our hunger sits in our mouths
like the ghosts of milk teeth. you bite down
on your palm so hard you hit a vein.
you do not suffer martyrdom, I say, not yet.
you have only laid another starving thing
at my feet. it is oh so strange to see a man
reduced to his knees, flush against the
wood & everything dim & warm with
people, no longer there. bleeding,
we are unrelenting in our obedience.
the women, they move through the house
discordant as hornets, big in their winter
blood through the gallery of forested night
& drawn curtains. yesterday I dreamt of
angels, their feathers pink & wet like
new-hatched chicks or a stillbirth,
but I did not stay long enough
to witness the outcome.
Anya Trofimova is a young poet from London. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Planet in Peril Anthology (Fly on the Wall Press), and has been recognised by the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and the Erbacce Prize 2020, among others. When she’s not writing herself, she works on the editorial boards of the Siblíní Journal, Sandpiper Magazine and Limit Experience Journal.