The Aitken Alexander Isolation Series: a new poem by Andrew McMillan

*

 

for how many years

had you carried it

before you felt it

 

how long had it sat

growing as you grew

built of your own skin

 

tumour   parasite

and ticking   ticking

until you looked

 

who was it showed you?

who gave you the key?

your not-self   sick-self

 

the long snake body

of your blood wrapped

tight around your brain

 

and you opened it

found it would not shut

no matter how long

 

you screamed in your bed

panic loosed      bedlam

pandemonium

 

Andrew McMillan’s latest collection is the Polari Prize-winning playtime, published by Jonathan Cape.

Comments are closed.