EMACIATED FOR THOUGHT

by Alex Bell

I am violent starving eyes,

my mind, carved out like a hollow carcass, 

 

its ribs bowed with the ghost of flesh 

hangs like a shredded flag. Eye struck 

 

by the witch’s sabbath

dancing by the cackle of a flame. 

 

Within these wild wooden irises, 

I hear a rustle in a nightmare

 

a silent monster purged of scorn. 

Where has my anger gone? 

 

Where are my bangle teeth?

How do you know who you are? 

 

Do I wait for someone to tell me,

or do I write myself like a god? 

 

If I stay here in this room, at this desk 

I can play out my passive fantasies, but 

 

out there I’m as hungry as a beast, 

like the ones they throw in cages. 

 

Who am I to live? Who am I to die? 

Is any decision whole so long as it’s made, 

 

or am I shipwrecked in waves of wonder? 

They say it’s like an impulse, a state of being, 

 

like knowing how to breathe or when to cry.