'Firemouth' by Seraphima Kennedy

I have been driven half-mad

I have slit my own gills to take in more of the sea 

I have scraped around in the gravel and the muck of tides 

I have pulled fish hooks from my stomachs
            the long wire wet and shining with mucous

these days I have fallen into nothing and nobody knows me
    I do not know myself here, stuck in this dark hole 

I have this scene many times and it is always still coming
    in ways innumerable 

I have been forced to consider
                myself
against dark, against the hot red crescents of eyes 

against the door’s locked jangle         
     
I have swum up to the surface, a wriggle of sinew
    blubber and hot scales
 
you, who have never been desperate, tell me
    what can a woman say 

give me a sharp knife   hands
    language 

a tongue to speak          
    a mouth on fire
 

Included in the list of 5 Poets Bound to Shift UK Poetry Soon

Poem was first published in The Rialto, 89 Autumn 2017 issue)

'Porcelain' by Maddie Godfrey