2 poems by Annie Katchinska

Under the wheel

Sweet in the middle of a madness sweet. Here’s how I snatched, I snatched attention. Sweet in the middle of a headache sweet. From a red unpickable place

in the mind I knew what was coming and took precautions.

Quietly round-faced really sweet in the middle of an animal sweet.

Head bright and still like a gallery. Red plaster, plastic suspended from the ceiling, shiny surfaces, sour lollipops stuck

to the floor not yet licked down to nothing, big ripped polystyrene shards never, never fall down tasting mini sharp scratchy paperclips through which my,

my voice was sweet in the middle of gargling sweet in the middle of a proper good smothering sweet. Because

in the middle in a little belly button in the middle of a bare belly possible to hate and worth

hating I was, I was. Sweet in the middle of knives knives sweet. Horse therapy, Los Angeles. Outer space

to take me, take me. My lips, my lips unusually open when they bust down the door and they bust it down for me. Sweet in the middle of

Contractual love Sweet. Sweet Asleep through a long-Haul Flight Sweet. Sweet in The Middle

of these Big Professionals Sweet. Sweet In The Centre Of Opinions Reflected In A Massive Drink Way Too Sweet. In The Middle Of what? what? She’s temperamental

Dragging the bag you’ve had since high school a frayed strap straining forever coming loose. Bunched in, crammed into the beating pulsing body you think you can call a body.

Yelp your cheap red compact rage into a pillow. Flattened stamped into a woman rectangle down to the very last pummelling a pillow.

You know this exists yes a feeling like this, falling aren’t you a density, aren’t you. Spliced not screaming under the sun not a single word she waves

At someone else, press everything right down into yourself, lumpy glittery rocks In the National Park.

_____________________

Annie Katchinska was born in Moscow in 1990. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2018. She was a Faber New Poet in 2010 and her second pamphlet Natto was published in 2018 by If A Leaf Falls Press. She lives and works in London.