Juice Pulp

There’s a bitter taste in my mouth,
weighing heavy on my tongue
like my heart against my ribs,
like the kind that is swiped from lips after drinking juice,
thick in the morning as it swirls in the glass,
pulp falling to the bottom, in its sodden state.

The taste of juice in the morning,
when your mouth is unclean, and your mind is buzzing,
all I hear is buzzing,
thrumming heartbeat in my ears,
stark light piercing my eyes at 4am,
but, dust floating by my eyelashes,
white and light sticking to my skin,
and everything else in this room.

I hate that I remember every scar in the wall,
every single one carved into my memory,
all the chippings and table dents,
the ones that couldn’t be painted over.

All memories are like that actually,
pieces and pieces that swirl in minds half full,
half empty when we brush them away,
we remember the taste of them like the lyrics of songs,
sweet and velvet or bitter and forgettable,
like that carton in the bin.

Some days I think this will all be gone soon,
this carton will be empty as will this cup,
this bed, this room, this house,
juice with the bits left in,
fragments in the form of memory,
pulp stuck in the throat,
swaying in the kitchen with my eyelids closed

by Francesca Johnson

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