Chemo with Sharapova

 

The woman reading Junot Diaz under the TV
has adjusted to her losses elegantly—pencilled in
eyebrows, mulberry skullcap, diverting silver jewellery.
Wimbledon hovers above her like a thought-bubble.

 

My daughter’s Centre Court, another woman says.
Hard to imagine clouds scooting the aperture,
the acoustic. Her husband is waiting for test results.
This could be the final, he says, munching a biscuit.

 

Sharapova serves; her opponent returns.
I am as alert to curves and smoothness now as a pubescent boy-–
their jelly tot nipples and doll-sleek crotches;
the double bounce of a ponytail.

 

A nurse called Aisha tells the man he’s neutropenic;
his wife lets out a moan like Sharapova. We gasp
at the rotten call, nostalgic for recently,
when we were gloriously stupid.

 

 

Claire Collison

This poem first appeared in Rialto

@clairecollison1 on Twitter and @adalodge on Instagram.
Claire’s website is clairecollison.com