by Francesca Wilkin



I like the in-between seasons,

the slowly-freezing-slowly-thawing seasons,

the kiss of autumn or the sex of spring –


fingers going numb in bedrooms, greasy hair,

the broken-down shank of a pointe shoe.


Empty crossroads and amber leaves

collecting around my ankles

feel like winter’s touch –


curly hair mornings, chapped lips,

leg warmers in a pale blue studio.


He hands me his plaid sweatshirt and

I wear it to bed,

digging myself a burrow under the blanket –


hands hiding secrets, do not disturb,

I tie my ribbons wrong & I don’t notice.


Slowly descending into dark days and

darker hours,

shadows flirt beneath my eyelids –


crumbling stones, poison marrow,

I fall off the box during adagio and do not cry.


I cut open my abdomen and pull out my guts,

the toxins inside of me

are crudely removed –


frayed nooses, empty promises,

my dance bag hangs off my chair to dry.