I think the sickness may kill me. In this pale room
of shivering lunatics, one girl
dashes off, belly round as a mango
to puke in the ladies’ toilets. Unsupervised,
she heaves and coughs, splatters the tiles
with half a breakfast buffet. Dark swirls of cola.
Cold pizza she’d forced down her gullet, and a slab
of sponge cake on nobody’s birthday.
Blasting cool water, she scrubs hard, sniffing
her hair and her hands, smuggles gum to her mouth
as though she were replacing a tooth.
Another is busy drowning herself with a half-gallon
of mineral water. Glugging and swallowing,
barely noticing the cool sliver of a boy beside her.
She drops the clattering bottle, gasps, and suddenly
I want to take her into this awkward cradle
of elbows and knees, fatten her up like a lamb.