Not Cancer

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.




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