Poetry | ‘It’ by Rachel Deyis (18) | Student Writing

I feel it shift inside me,

this wild, furred thing

that has uncurled itself from the

slumberous warmth of my belly 

and climbed the rungs of my ribcage

to settle within my chest.

For weeks it has been still,

all flickering eyelids and gentle prodding, but

today its eyes blink wide open, awake-

silvered claws scratch at my skin, an itch like a

hundred-thousand blunt pinpricks from within,

Its steamy breath scorches and sears and

it is burning, burning, burning, breathing out

some exponentially expanding gas giant into my

Ballooning chest, with each heaving pulse

It hisses words into my head

and they swirl there, somewhere above and just

out of reach. It snarls,

and I wrench out the letters

curling round the slippery skin of my soul

And slice up the dim, unexplored corners of my heart 

And hook them as bait on my gnarled line of art,

as I fish for the whispers that it chases out of

reach. And when ink is splattered like blood 

across the page, and the flesh is spent and the clean sting of fresh paper

has been long forgotten, still it howls

and slashes at my lungs

Until I am drowning and it is laughing in long, stuttered creaks,

Until that dark liquid sloshes and spills over,

sliding into purple veins that

spider across my hands and press the 

bristles of a brush across paper

Until I print the sky and the sun and my rumpled bedspread

and pillows, and the dreams they catch, and my books and

my boots and my musings in the shower and the dust on my windowsill

and everything in between- Until every sense is purged 

And bled dry- Until my head has been cracked 

Open and spilt in acrylics and sweeping strokes

And the colour seeped out of experience and into ink

and then, and only then, does it sleep.


Rachel Deyis is an 18 year old high school student, currently drowning in her A-level coursework. She was awarded the first place for the Taleem Poetry Award, and when she isn’t reading brain-cell murdering romance novels, she enjoys the works of Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Holt and Neil Gaiman.

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