For the Four Months I was Too Depressed to Feed Myself

by Sairah Ahsan

You first found the sickness in your mouth
when your tongue fuzzed and split,
a fast motion image of soft fruit in decay
playing out in your bathroom mirror

spit out into culture growing on the grime
of your sink, white foam on the banks
of the red sea revealing rust flavoured
canyons sunk between your teeth.

Strands of collagen unknit the itching
scar tissue, your wounds reopen,
mouths unfurling on your thighs and knees
kiss the denim of your jeans.

Your body opens up to the world till
you are more the world than yourself.
A body in town moving in and out of cafes
is ice on the lake, fragile, fragmenting in the

sun and dissolves into the whole.
A body in bed can’t feed on cotton,
nylon sheets. A body in bed is
a bowl of strawberries, spoiling in the heat.

Move it into the chill January air.
Your legs are working to pick up
a script, your skin hanging loosely
from your shoulders like a nude slip

before it slides down to sit around your ankles
in a doctor’s consultation room. The sun is
segmented through the slats of her blinds,
grey and corporate, it guides hands in plastic wrap

to jab at your soft belly. A satsuma sits in your
hands. You push the segments down into the
acid trap of your stomach. This is healing.
Frying eggs and firming up your gums with
fluoride is healing. Vitamin pills in lieu of
loosening teeth in your skull is healing.