Grace Winspear


I attract broken people.
They’re drawn to me,
Swarm to me,
Like mosquitoes to sweat beaded skin.

They lay their petty issues
In the stagnant pools of my mind.
Hatching into problems,
Writhing across the surface of my psyche.

Persistent buzzing whispers in my ears.
Gangly legs probing at soft skin
Drawing a grimace
They say is a smile.

An anaesthetic kiss.
A serrated needle slides into plump flesh.
Skin stretches over a blood-swollen belly.
I am left emptied and alone.

Constant irritation
Burns through my body,
Ravages my mind.
I need them back.

I think I’ve found a whole one.
A safe one.
One that will soothe my itching wounds
Instead of cause them

But then I wake
To find them standing over me.
A straw in my neck.
Blood pooling in their mouth.

It would be so easy.
Extract that jagged needle
Feel that fragile body quiver
Crush it between my fingers

Our blood mixed together.
Instead I apologise
And walk away,
Scratching the oozing sore left behind.

Leaving them to search for some else’s blood.

Grace Winspear is 'a bored Tasmanian student who writes poetry and short stories instead of going to parties. I like Shakespeare, filmmaking, Korean literature and tormenting my younger sister.' Grace's poem 'mosquitoes' was an entry in the 2022 Andrew Hardy Youth Poetry Prize (16 years and under section).