I lurch toward the bathroom, gelatinous, slipping along the chrome handrail,
dissolving into stark white ceramics.
The clot slides from my body with an unlikely plop,
as if the sound was illustrated in a comic strip,
a fleshy mound that glistens graffiti-bright under fluorescent light.
I wonder if I am dying.
There is the crack of skull, a slap of skin on tile.
My face pale as the porcelain toilet bowl.
I am borderless, an unanswered question floats above my head.
I dream I am an ant.
Curious, separated from the army, directing my alternating gait
across terrain painted in flat colours,
scuttering from frame to frame, receptors steeped in the metallic tang.
Tacky, the coagulating shell,
my ant-self burrowing deep into the pulp.
The scabbed surface seeps bright red and yolky,
Insectile, I dwell.
The nurse finds me, there is the click of her master/mistress key.
A vague figure shaded in cross-hatching,
she guides me back to bed,
and tells me never mind the sticky floor, the bloodied footprints.
These are markers for the colony.
Megan Cartwright is an Australian college teacher and poet. Her work has appeared in Arteidolia Press’ ‘Swifts&Slows’, Authora Australis, Blue Bottle Journal, Meniscus Journal, October Hill Magazine, and oddball magazine. She has poems forthcoming in Book of Matches Lit Mag, Swim Meet Lit Mag, Tabula Rasa Review and Quadrant Magazine.