I do not want to be. I am a negative –
if the grey light grazes me, I will bloom
into uselessness, sepia spreading
to my curled edges. I do not want
the light to leak anymore.
I lunge across my lurching floor
and drag down the blinds, then fall
onto my still-made bed; the mattress
bruises. Peacock’s-back-purple spreads
across my tender retinas, ink
on a wet page. On the unfeeling street
a woman shouts and grabs my tongue
and burns. I try and press paracetamol
from the packet, silver foil too silver.
Water tastes rust now; I swallow dry
dust in my throat. I cannot –
I do not want to be. I want to be a negative
hung up in the darkroom, all inverse.