In The Blood

Annie Stevenson


I’ll sail across the sky till I can find it

What little time that I have left

I’ll put it in a box so you don’t mind it

When I am gone, but not dead


The seas are getting lonely and the clouds are too high

I’ll cross these rough waters for you

I’ll eat all your tears so darling don’t you cry

The stars are getting hungry for you


A bitter-sweet breeze fills these sails

Tapestries fly –

Woven by those calloused hands

This body, a mere hand-me-down

Black and Blue –

Are the only colours through which I understand you


To cut, slash and tear and weep unseen

To stitch the pain into your hands

With fingers red or new with gold

Will stain your lap and turn to black


I try to grow my hair – but pains bring back blunt shears

Reflections seem to look like you

And I fear – I fear that I have lost my strength

As Delilahs grow on these brittle bones


I’ll take your demons by the hand in silence

And give them a home inside my head

From honeyed lips come promises of kindness

So hollow are those slurs of drawn regret


Cover me in shrouds of silk – smother me tight

Too rich for rough skin to bear

Carve broken words into my heart – desperate delight

And I’ll bleed you drinks of plenty, my dear


Oh, guard your dimming light with naked hands –


As melting wax drips to ash

Claw notches on my skin

I’ll find solace in these scars –

As all nine lives return to dust


Tread lightly, lightly – don’t make a sound

Not a breath – it’ll all be over soon

Swallow me whole and keep me there

Restless inside your womb –


There are flowers in my mind

Asking me why –

Why I’ve been away so long

Oh, rest your weary blooms – ‘cause I won’t be coming home soon

Annie’s visual arts practice is currently focused on stylised portraiture, personifying intense emotional concepts within androgynous and femme forms. They explore a range of concepts, particularly drawing focus on themes of psychology, mental illness, trauma, family, gender, feminism, mythology and religion.