This one is called ‘Stay Away From Me Janine’

Photo by Melissa Reid

Photo by Melissa Reid

Everyone can see how black your soul is
when you laugh. It’s in the teeth,
the residue of every sin you’ve ever spent
resting darkly in the apertures.
You always wanted to be something more
than a stack of dental bills weakening a drawer.

You say you haven’t had a scream in a long time,
that screaming helps to rationalise the silence.

You keep your hair smooth and your lashes curled
in case the galaxy knocks at your door
asking to make a star of you.
The only catch is that one day,
light years from now, you will explode.

“Classic me,” you’ll say as you expand,
as though you are a white bed sheet
billowing on the washing line
and the universe is a child caught
in your suffocating glow.

Marianne MacRae is working towards a Creative Writing PhD at University of Edinburgh. She says: 'I’m an Edinburgh-based poet with a penchant for animals in poetry, particularly those that speak. I like to experiment with character and voice throughout my work, tending towards humour and misdirection to (hopefully!) keep the reader entertained. I draw a lot of inspiration from visual media and enjoy imagining lives for people I don’t necessarily know … and I mean that in the least creepy way possible.'