Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

Annabel - Toni Wi

Annabel of the thousand kinds of smile the ripped jeans and floral ensemble bringing belts back into fashion Annabel all collarbone who peers into her phone with lips counting her fork hanging suspended alone in a world of muted greys of custard coloured floors the hint of hormones in the air buried beneath a wave of overlapping currents of meat unidentified vegetable hash an overprocessed cheese her nose picking out food stuffs as if she could break them down to their constituent parts protein an acceptable level of carbohydrate was there ever an acceptable level of carbohydrate limp photosynthetic matter sauce of sugar on sugar and beyond always more sugar
        Annabel who with a delicate dip of the wrist selects a crisp edamame bean from a plate of white flecked with green shuttles it towards a mouth used to curling around a no thank you never quite reaching the word she needs saving it away for later saving herself for later the best kind of friend selfeffacing fading into the background so that they never notice she is a calculating brain inside a shadow shaped like someone you used to know at school
        Annabel of the teams the clubs and the committees voted most likely to succeed who places a fork onto a plate on a barren tray who still has hope of a hunger later in the day or the week or maybe even sometime this month a girl of potential fearless in the face of public speaking presenting a persona a chocolate shell over the truth the truth a sea of air of egg whites whipped into perfect peaks and a stomach that shrinks shrinks shrinks with each pass of the whisk Annabel who curls in on herself when no one is looking afraid only of taking up space stands and slings the strap of her backpack over a shoulder like a crag skin stretched taut tray in one hand ready to toss the plate of beans to flit into the crowd into the mould Annabel of the thin wrists smiling as she counts down to zero

Contributor's Note

Toni is a recent Master’s graduate of the University of Canterbury with an interest in science and policy. She is an avid reader, and spent a year studying English at Waikato University. She is part of the Hagley Writer’s Institute in Christchurch, where she is working on a novel.

 

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