I lie in bed, waiting for you –
under my right wrist,
over orphaned petechiae,
into the reddish band below my breasts –
I am trying to define these lines
between buying violets for a date
and eyeing tulips on the bedside –
Remember those kids who called us fags?
Fear fell from them like milk teeth!
Those little petrol-stink apostles make me
wonder if confessing me to you
would steward the sea, dam the moat,
unpool the bruise between us –
But you are not God. I am still not well.
And I lie in bed, waiting for you –
Meditations from an Unfamiliar Floor
These walls don’t sink.
Something has been ripped from this doorframe
and it was probably Pulp Fiction.
I spider myself
into one too many corners.
I have known more than my own
but I do not own it well. These walls
upset themselves like glasses
of water in the night. I become into window-
box. The small carnation of my breast
shudders white and fingernail.
I could turn against even November for light.
I’m as safe looking in as out,
ignoring myself into carpet. These walls
will know me over and over
before the gentle keeping of these little hours.
Ahana Banerji is an undergraduate student reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge. She is a three-time Foyle Young Poet and was long-listed for the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize in 2022, judged by Billy Collins. At eighteen, she was the youngest shortlisted poet for the White Review Poet’s Prize in 2022.