Antonia Cundy is an postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, studying on an MPhil in American Literature. She has written (poetry and prose) for The Financial Times, The Economist, and The Oxonian Review, amongst others. Her work can be found at www.antoniacundy.com.
A skin had formed over her hot chocolate,
creasing clinging off her spoon –
grandmother’s bingo wings.
“I couldn’t get a regular rhythm,”
he had said.
Surely the milk could not be off?
She’d only bought it yesterday,
from the kind man whose hands
she imagined soft as clotted cream,
pooling pennies in the lap of her fiver.
Where do you go to (my lovely)
Somewhere, a barbed tongue scrapes silence
off whose? whalebone ribcage
flanked by battalion incisors sunk into the frosted pink
of foxglove, flashing red eyes.
O little purple dots
…………………………………..flee this rotten carcass
Narcissus fury barrels into nightshade webs
hiding locusts fed on raw mammary vines, bowed constrictions
of brittle limbs crawling around infertile fires. Singed by the skinning
blood-orange wax they drop into the heroine seduction of gasoline.
Emery boards crystallise the snake’s shedding skin
left in the shadow of belladonna
hanging: a fruitless bat, clipped
and drained for its venom.