by Claire Collison
Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2016
That was the summer you learned
there was a point to eyelashes,
and that having cancer didn’t
make you nice — wasn’t enough
of a thing in common. That the best
conversation was with a nurse, who
hadn’t had lunch or much sleep
for a week, and sat with you
behind blue curtains
for the time it took
to draw your blood, while Magic FM
and an aviary of machinery
chirruped for her attention.
How, while wiping the soft
inside of your arm with something
cold, she told you she once did a runner
from a wine bar on the Isle of Wight,
kept Borzoi; how her boyfriend
worked at Wetherspoons
and hated it.
Keeping Borzoi was Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2016, as chosen by Helen Mort.