Rachael Barnes-Powell

Jarred

 

I am on the shelf

locked in my specimen jar

 

I cannot remember how to open my jaw

nor the taste of words

 

Vinegar evicted my blood years ago

Pickling my organs

cramping my limbs into shape

 

 

Beyond my home

shadows pass me by

 

 

Some taunt me with their humanity

their freedom and ease

 

They tap the thick glass to make me flinch

 

 

Others hang back

 

Disturbed by my distended stomach

pregnant with acid

 

 

They bore me

 

 

I wish someone would add spices to my jar

maybe mustard seeds or star anise

 

My fingers would make excellent party snacks

speared in a bowl with toothpicks

 

 

I am spoiling on this shelf

and it would be a shame to go to waste

 

Watcher

Tiny spider perched ceiling-side

watching from afar with shining eyes

 

 

As I sleep and dream

she weaves her tomb

 

Delicate and air-light

 

 

From her, the world is gifted

an army of mouths

Greedy for firstfeed

 

 

Her descendants cocoon me

Wrapping me tight

 

Under layers of dusty blankets

 

 

I sleep on

 

Undisturbed

Rachael Barnes-Powell is an East Midlands-based writer. She was one of Acumen’s featured Young Poets in 2019, and has been published by Nottingham Poetry Exchange and Creative Writing Ink. She promises that she does not always write about creepy things.