Mayhem Literary Journal is proudly sponsored by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

42 Degrees - Melanie Allison

the air in your lungs 
is stuck
to the charred hand
of a thousand 
lost memories
        I’m okay

you’re tied
in a knot
        doused 
                in gasoline

swallow Clorox
        spew
                into a 
                        5 dollar
                bucket

blanket eyelids
                breath taste 
        of silver ash
crushed Ibuprofen

saltwater scalds 
        fingertips
dries throat to 
        gritted sand

construction nail  
hooked in ribs
        pinched heart
                can you breathe?

don’t cry 
I know the walls 
are too white 
and the floors 
smell of aloe vera

It’s impossible to 
accept someone 
as memory

                you’re at 42 degrees, kid 

Someone Else - Melanie Allison

you’re 
        a 1950’s movie
        cobalt eyes
        cat smile
        matched with a 
        blues brothers shirt

you
        can’t see why
        i scream into my pillow
        and pour tears into 
        your chest

tell me where it hurts, baby

i see 
        my sister’s head
        smashed against the corner of a
        diamond swimming pool

        maple syrup blood
        in a chlorine ocean

i see
        a demon
        that tastes of
        green apples
        and winfield rum 

i feel
        nicotine fingers
        grasp my breasts 

tell me where it hurts, baby

        there’s a scythe stuck
        in the cavity of my chest

        iron needles 
        pierce my cortex 

it hurts, baby

i dream 
        of a yellow lighter
        devouring
        a two-bed
        that was once
        my home

 
        you’ve got no reason 

to cry.

Contributor's Note

Melanie Allison is a writer of creative non-fiction, studying Theatre and English at the University of Waikato. Her partner wrote this bio so she would sooner assist him with making a cheesecake.

 

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