Just the possibility of an invasion.
Soldiers on the border of surgery
with their radiant smiles
and bright green skin.
Martians with ray guns.
But apparently I am the patient
and must not make jokes.
I must sit in the right chair
as you tell the nurse
not to give me the leaflet.
Not yet, not now, not the c word
but then you don’t seem to have
any another words so fall back
on child’s drawings of crabs
stretching their claws,
the ancient Greeks, star constellations.
In the other room, the nurse gives me
the leaflet with cancer all over it.
She says there are people you can talk to,
people who call things by their names.