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Exquisite Hunger

by Anna Wythe

Origami dragons are appearing in the library.

They laugh at me,

at the ink signs I scratch for you.

I don’t ask how a paper dragon can breathe fire,

or whether the fire is its voice.

I want to steal one for you:

a red jewel.

I think of the Prince and the Swallow.

Would I

have anything left to say

if a bird could bring you my body

in bright shards?

I can speak only

an exquisite hunger.

My mouth opens:

this is the shape of its emptiness.

On Sundays, your mouth is full of God.

You give me a feast of silences.

I cannot give you even

this little red dragon

I shall set it on fire.


About the author:

Anna Wythe is a history student at Cambridge University. All the places she cares about are currently being destroyed by drought, floods or wildfire.

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