My boyfriend gave me an apple by Claire Walker

shiny red and it swelled to a bruise in my cheek.
The crisp flesh peeled away to sour sting of blood.

No Eden temptation, just a measure of force,
my head pulled back until I swallowed it whole.

Its pips have settled in my stomach.
I feel the branches grow and prod my heart.


Wasted by Claire Walker

i.m. Isabelle Caro

My blotting-paper heart took their words and soaked them
up, became my body’s blood.
My mind grew so fat with the juice of ambition
that all I could taste was nothing.
I hollowed my cheeks with bullet holes of doubt,
silenced the forest of my stomach.
Every muscle shaved silk-thin,
each notch of my spine a wasted branch.

But my voice will not be that brittle wood. My voice
will not rattle around this empty throat. I will not
glove my hands or bind my ribs.
Waste nothing.
Lend me your eyes and ears
and I’ll give you my bones and words.