Square teeth gummed

with grey filament,

cuspid and bicuspid,

cleave open my clavicle &

peck out the heart like a wet pip

sizzling. A glut, a guttering, head

engorged and swelling like a tick. Santé.


It is our own fault, really.

Diligent hands decode our bodies

to a riddle of bone, leave us segmented

in painless pieces.


Can you stomach me

now? Stripped and stippled

with shotgun pellets, a redblack

razzle-dazzle. I once heard

the tale of a hunter crucified

on a roe stag’s antlers and now

that stag watches from the wall,

its grinning vice of empty jaws

complicit as a mother.

Entrecôte, anyone?


I understand now, why the pigs

came to eat their endings

from the palms of your hands,

how you made us into something

red, something to be washed

down with sauvignon.

Auberge espagnole of a rib-eyed

daughter, take what you please, don’t

be shy. The unplugged heart spits

& shivers, vomiting runnels

of white fat on the plancha.


They always ask for it saignant.


Author: Annabelle Cormack

Annabelle Cormack is a poet, writer and Creative Writing graduate from Bath Spa University. Having grown up in the Diagonal du Vide, or the Empty Diagonal, France’s very own “desert” characterised by run-down agricultural land and isolated ghost towns, Annabelle’s poems focus on the beauty and brutality of nature and the way family dynamics can be impacted by the harshness of rural life. Annabelle is currently studying for her MA, juggling several chaotic jobs, and working on a YA novel about cheerfully amoral witches and unkillable kings.

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