This rockmelon is bloated with guilt
Sweet, near-rancid, on the knife’s edge of festering
Press down and it will oblige
Split, tear, scream
I eat until I am sick
Force transparent tainted spoon-carved flesh
Between roof and tongue
This rotting globe was bought for me
I consume a world and cannot breathe
Performative Crying is Great for the Skin
i. I am not allowed to stay up past 7:30 and watch Midsomer Murders like the big girl I am. I look at my bright and blotchy cheeks in the mirror with blurry-eyed fascination, but not for too long because I have crying to do. I crawl into my closet and slam the door, relishing in the feeling of being comfortably trapped.
ii. The kind of lighting that feels mean. A bouquet of hello kitty body spray and Rexona struggling to mask tweenage-girl perspiration sunk into the walls. It is important to count up to ten because counting down is just a bit too ominous. If I reach ten and still can’t breathe, I start again. I look down at my unshaven legs and for the fourth time that day feel a pang of I-don’t-what.
iii. Can’t see where I’m going with the dog because I’ve just walked mum up to the pub where she’s going to the work Christmas party and on the way I mentioned on a whim that maybe she and dad should try being more open and she suddenly told me that my dad’s an alcoholic and everything kind of clicks and I’m glad no one else is around which I guess makes sense because my dog likes side-streets.
iv. It is two minutes to midnight and I am in the middle of a huge crowd. I feel most acutely: intense pain in my pinkie toes, the dull sting of a rash which has spread onto on an impressively large portion of my body, my throat constricting each time someone touches me because I don’t trust anyone here with my life or my autonomy or my phone.
v. Nothing sexier than a mild panic attack under her doona after she’s eaten you out and you’ve suddenly decided that you cannot remember a single thing you’ve done to get yourself off, let alone someone else.
Niamh Gallagher is a 20 year old writer, performer and vintage cookbook collector living on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. Her work has never been published, but her mum thinks she’s great.