by Victoria Fletcher

I do not want to be. I am a negative –
if the grey light grazes me, I will bloom

into uselessness, sepia spreading
to my curled edges. I do not want

the light to leak anymore.
I lunge across my lurching floor

and drag down the blinds, then fall
onto my still-made bed; the mattress

bruises. Peacock’s-back-purple spreads
across my tender retinas, ink

on a wet page. On the unfeeling street
a woman shouts and grabs my tongue

and burns. I try and press paracetamol
from the packet, silver foil too silver.

Water tastes rust now; I swallow dry
dust in my throat. I cannot –

I do not want to be. I want to be a negative
hung up in the darkroom, all inverse.