In case of emergency

pick the thread out from between your teeth

bite your tongue until it bleeds and

refuse to panic


let the kitchen burn to save the dogs

one foot infront of the other

trip but refuse to fall


in case

of emergency

scream until traffic lights turn red

drop from each balcony like a petal

let the wind carry you to safety

somewhere you can still see the smoke


these hands have not survived broken bones

to shake as our house comes down

spine made of steel it is how you were born

whisper to yourself what a king would

a captain goes down with his ship

but you hate to let lifeboats go to waste 


in case of disaster

kick the taillights out

wave with bleeding hands and scream your throat dry

blue tears but you cannot afford blurry sight

life or death and you cannot afford trembling


this anger makes my bones shake apart

grit my teeth and stand my ground

you cannot rip this skin from flesh

tears in my eyes but I refuse to bow

you cannot 

rip this soul

from this self


i walk into my room and ask where the rebellion is

picture perfect walls and a four poster bed

peel wallpaper off until you can hear the screams i hid in the walls last night

hang up the ‘do not enter’ signs

and the blaring red STOP

you stole for me a week ago

walk into my room

and ask where the fight is

lift the covers a little

rebellion lives under my skin

dirt under my fingernails; i’ve forgotten how to smile


a snake’s tongue; it is how you spit poison

but I have learnt to wash my mouth out with oil

tease out the venom and spit it back at you

watch as you swallow

smile, and it is with bloody teeth


i have learnt to make myself feral

someone grabs my arm and I twist into a cataclysm

grow my nails out and sharpen these incisors

kick myself free and learn to bite

lungs i have carved into something wilder

eyes that i’ve sharpened with a blunt blade


rip this car’s engine out

just so I can be the loudest thing around


a star appears in the sky each time I bleed

or perhaps this is how i empty myself into space

if this is an emergency

break glass with naked fists

and laugh through the pain


if this (is an ending)

break my heart with heartless lips

dig the dagger a little deeper

and wrap my own fingers around it

kiss me goodbye; steal my words as you go

i don’t want to keep secrets; (just to keep you)


they say ‘can you not hear the alarms’

but my mind has not stopped ringing

since the day i punched a boy

for asking me to lift my skirt

just an inch higher

my mouth still sticky with candy; knuckles coated with blood

the day i spat poison of my own

(and it was me that got in trouble)


last night i took up a blade

tore jagged lines through my hair

hacked at strands until they were no more


make yourself smaller

it is all they can say

in case of an emergency

learn to fold bones and disappear

i was not made to be small

i could bring down the eiffel tower

with bare hands and a cry


so in case the world is ending

or someone has folded you (like luggage)

into the back of a trunk

in case they ask for you to bare yourself

give away more of you than you can

in case this is an emergency

(for yourself)


tell them to go to hell

there is a fire eating away at this house

and you started it.



Photography by: Mafujur Rahman on Unsplash