Arc Publications logo

50 years at the cutting edge of poetry publishing

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

Lorna Thorpe, from A Ghost in my House


Bright as beads, shiny as offal
the blood keeps flowing,
bowl after butcher's bowl.
Five pints. I'm too out of it
to know that anti-platelets stop
roaming scraps of cells
from clumping into clots.
Or grasp my vital need
of the tiny metal mesh
they want to guide through wrist
to trouble spot, scaffold
the lumen of the artery
that closed up like a fist.
Sacs of blood gush out of me,
twice in seven days
I've brushed closer
to the other side
than even David Blaine
would dare. But I won't sign.
My luck won't last, I'll be one
of the three per cent
who don't come out alive.
I don't get
that without a stent
death's almost guaranteed.