Keeping Borzoi

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.

 

Claire Collison

Keeping Borzoi was Highly Commended in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2016, as chosen by Helen Mort.