Conversations before seven



This is the first conversation we have had today.

I blink,

And dig yellow goo from out of the corner

Of my eye.


Over the scum gathering on top of  my water glass,

              I watch you pull jeans over your boxers.

The white skin on the back of your legs Is puckering,

 pimply with early morning goose-bumps.


My bedroom skin is sticky with

the liquor of your skin.

                               You get too hot in the night.

I cloak myself in a crumpled shirt,

             pulling it out from the side of the bed. 

It is soft and cool against my breasts and

The underside of my arms.

I await Tea,

And toast,

and the quiet internal gurgles that fill our silences.


Our conversation is between sips,

And blows,

and crumbly brushing away

Of burnt off bits, festive, like buttery glitter

On our sheets.


I sit away from you, cold foot against

Cold wall. The rough material of

Your jeans looks brash,

As if it might bruise me,

Naked and flushed in this bare skin,

That itches against the crumbs caught

In the soft wet crease

Behind my knee.



You get up and spill tea on the bed.

Through the duvet it falls like morning rain.

Warm, like kisses,

Or the taste of you,

Still in my mouth.


Little Voices

I was going to write a poem for the end of national eating disorder awareness week.

But that is like trying to tell you what salt tastes like.

Here are words, bumbling and tripping over themselves, to whisper – please

please hear us. Can you hear us?

Have this instead – I’m giving the little voices room to sing, the little mean

nasty loving kind addictive voices that sing inside me, and others like me.

Can you hear it? Just five minutes.

Five Minutes in the head with the Little Voices Shouting.

‘Wake up. Can you do some exercise now? Can you run? Can you jump?

You don’t do enough exercise, not enough, your stomach, your legs, the way your arms blob about,

you hideous thing – Did you have sex last night? How many calories do you think that burnt?

Could you do it again tonight?

Sex burns calories, Sex, sex, easy exercise – not love, cheaper than the gym.

Coffee. Breakfast? Breakfast. Eat some breakfast?’

I must eat some breakfast today.

‘Alright, something small, something light,

NOT TOAST! Are you crazy? Carbs

Carbs carbs carbs, you can’t eat that if you eat that – porridge?

No no no no porridge? Porridge is healthy isn’t it?

Heavy though,you’ll feel it all day,

Slosh slosh slosh at the bottom of your belly,

pushing into your thighs – it’ll sit there, it’ll sit there

you’ll never get it off, and what will you do to make up for it?

They’ll all notice if you don’t have any dinner

you know how they are, got to plan ahead, lunch?

you can skip that, no one will know – a black coffee maybe?

Dinner tonight – dinner tonight – dinner tonight – you can’t eat that,

you can’t –

An apple. Have an apple.

The sugar?’

I must eat breakfast today. 

‘The sugar, glistening golden bits on the inside,

you’re already a bigger bra size than you were last year, it’ll go straight there

won’t it? It always does.

Your dress won’t do up, imagine it, so tight, pulling, God

people will notice, they’ll start saying things – ‘you look well,

you look so much healthier!’ Code for fat it’s all code for fat it’s always code for fat too fat too fat.

Liars, bitches, telling you it’s alright to let the sugar sit on your hips – what do they know – skinny wrists

skinny tummies, so skinny – some of us have to work for it

some of us have to work for it. The apple…..

Run, why don’t you run, you could run? Run tonight.

That’ll make up for it. That’ll do it, won’t it? that’ll do it –

or now? Go now?’

I must eat something today. 

‘Shall we check, shall we check for you? Just jump on now,

in the bathroom, quick, hop on, just check.

Maybe there’s a room for an apple in there – I know, I know

not supposed to count, check, no counting, no checking,

but this morning can’t hurt

can it? No one has to know, no one has to know,

just jump on.’

I must eat something 

‘Go running and you can eat it, just a little jog. Too tired?

Well, it’s your fault then, lazy bitch, should of

got up earlier. Look at you, ugly, you can’t eat that.

You can’t eat that, it’ll make you fat and ugly and lonely,

you can’t eat that, it’ll make you fat and ugly and you’ll be alone,

you can’t eat that, you’re fat and ugly and you’re going to be alone

you can’t eat that, you’re so fat and ugly you’re going to die alone

you can’t eat that, you’ll die alone

you can’t eat that

you can’t eat that.’