America as Drug Trial






Only take if certain of symptoms

and not reliant on side effects to get you hard.

For now, she can only come

by imagining herself a hunched devil

coming inside her as she pretends to cry.

He’s Doubting Thomas without the friends,

begs her to stick it in and puncture the imperfect pack.


We don’t know why you thought it at all acceptable

to treat someone’s mouth in that way.

Such a clue. You may choose to pretend to be better,

where advantage comes in doctrine, anecdote, delivery.

Pictures falter when scrutinised

by some tired Beelzebub of bar flies.

All an act, like everything for ever amen.





These can collapse your kidneys if you forget to drink.

They warned you. Said he wouldn’t bleed for realsies.

Checklist lies of recognition or temperature

tolerance plus-or-minus thirty-six degrees.

After taking it is important to wait before any belly-flops dreams.

Those bits fizz and itch, so heaves his need to the bedroom

to blister a skin that smells of bad thinking.

Like some Hercules flicking through catalogues

to choose the perfect mop, this is time well spent.





And over the water she is still burning

houses protected by firewalls and bear pits.

Will still bring her best self to the meeting,

so hangs all night in the airing cupboard

with lists of cars, periscoped books, lighter-fluid fumes.

And for no good reason

encoded the names of those she torched


in the pattern of sirens and screams.



Annabel Banks 2016
Illustration Nick Victor


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