Arc Publications logo

50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

“A meeting point for poets of all latitudes”
— VĂ­ctor Rodríguez Núñez

Chrissie Gittins, from Armature

There Are Things I Must Realize You Can No Longer Do

There are things I must realize you can no longer do —
climb the hill that was the view from your window
where we've climbed and talked of the past,
eat with a familiar wooden handled spoon,
sleep in that narrow bed pushed hard against the wall.

Now this corridor contains your wandering,
or you are wedged into a chair with a hospital trolley.
there are no doors in your mind to say
this is a true story, that is not.
A nurse can talk about your inconsistency
whilst wearing perfect make-up.
A doctor wants to know if you can pay for your care.

From the mercury rush of your words
there are still some stones to gather —
'You'll have a good drink of coffee before you go?
Make a sandwich — you can get them pre-wrapped now.'
'I always wanted to protect you.'

The veins in your hands stretch like a washing line
pegged with the sheet of your skin.
The man in the opposite bed is wearing your watch.