Rachel Perkins





Standing on the bus

I think it’s fatigue

rather than fear

but I’m shaking hard.

Fear is allowed.

Fear of hospitals, injections,

nurses, doctors, and nudity

are all allowed.

Fear of emotional consequence

isn’t. I tell myself

I’ll buy a sandwich afterwards.

Or a whole roast dinner

or pasta

or something big enough

to fill me up

after being emptied.

I must look sick because a lady

gave me her seat.

In the hospital

I am put in a gown

and laid flat on a table

with my legs in stirrups,

I am waiting for sedation

to overcome me.

Feels like trying to be swallowed

by a tide.

A machine starts screaming at me

and they vacuum

the contents of my uterus

from me like spring cleaning.

Walking home I’m crippled

by cramp. Told the nurse

my mum was coming.

Stop off at a shop for painkillers

and take ten with Orange Juice.

I must have won

at some point because winners

of races are tired

and sore

and crying.

I am rotting with all of this.








She drinks beer from a bottle shaped like a Buddha. Snow is eighty percent air, she said, which means we’re floating. I had picked her up from hospital only two hours earlier. Paramedics were called when she tried to jump out of her window last night, and she had been under supervision until she was safe to discharge with a leaflet about depression. And now she asks me: Why can’t I drown in all this water? Why can’t I fall through this air?




Rachel is a baby-faced recent graduate who eats pesto straight from the jar. She’s inspired by the connections between nature and humans, Bloody Mary’s, and art that drags the words from her head and on to paper. https://twitter.com/peachy_rachel