I was so small. Staggering around a giant world

I wanted to feel big.

The cake said “eat me” - gave me meaning, opened up

a brand new door.

I ate

and ate, until sponge splattered through my hair and icing

rolled down my hot wrists.

My body grew. Skin turned to flour, my brain became

a broken egg. Was I

controlling the cake?


Jam pulsed through me like blood; sugar

infected my bones. Was the cake controlling me?

I ingested everything, yet felt

nothing. A slice of me always cut away.

I crumbled beneath the weight of my obsession;

the cost of the cake.


Never big enough; the door always

out of reach.


I couldn’t bear to stare into the looking glass and see

my bulging flesh.

Deep down the rabbit hole, life is blown

wide open.

I can’t replace

the gaps.


I’m spinning with the cogs of time

squashing cavities into my swollen mouth - yet not even

the sand timer can fill me up.

Minutes were edible,

everything digestible in small doses - and hours spent down here

were truly delicious.


Words: Joely Campbell

Image source: an extract from 'Alice' (1988) directed by Jan Svankmajer