Two Poems by Ed Jarrett
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
He used to watch something like 15 sunsets a day
The doctor reads out my test results. ‘A complete lack of iron, or any other form of what we would call, in the medical profession, metal’
‘Fine’ I say, rolling my sleeves back up. ‘Do I need to book another appointment?’ ‘Absolutely not’ The doctor has kissed me goodbye before, but never this firmly.
A wooden bowl is filled with spaghetti, capers, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, freshly grated garlic.
‘A complete lack of metal, apparently’ the pasta strands hang between my lips ‘I knew it’ my mum said, shaking her head.
My dad grips his wine glass furiously. ‘Our son’
Not really sure what he meant by that.
The doctor has bought me flowers, I leave them in the sink.
He tells me his day, shows me his suturing set. I have seen much nicer suturing sets but his technique is pretty good. Comfortable knots.
‘You have the longest colon i’ve ever seen’ moans the gastroenterologist, they nod their head wildly from side to side and twist the dials. ‘Where the fuck am I?’
‘Thats the splenic flecture’ I say pointing at the screen.
The endoscopy nurse slaps my hand.
A tray of cherry tomatoes is roasted, the green vines thin under the olive oil.
‘I'm not sure we should discuss this at dinner’ my mum shrinks at me.
I pick at the blackened tomato skins.
‘Like the great wall of china’ I say excitedly, ‘longest goddamn colon they'd ever seen’.
A plate is slammed down on the table.
‘Go get your dad out of the garden, its been raining all day.’
The moon seems pointless this evening, not even trying.
The Doctor has bought me a flatscreen tv. ‘Thank you I hate it’, I leave it in the sink.
The Doctor wraps me up in bandages, from head to toe.
‘You have far too much blood’ the phlebotomist says this without smiling. ‘Its ludicrous, totally ludicrous’ she repeats as I pump onto the floor.
A cleaner is called in, to deal with the overflow, my socks are ruined in the process. ‘Here’ the phlebotomist hands me a ball of cotton wool.
I present a side salad of parsley and heavily salted cucumbers.
‘Too much blood they said’ silence. ‘An absolutely ludicrous amount of blood apparently’. ‘I think your grandmother had that’ my mum then makes a crude attempt at signing the cross but she catches her eye and breaks a contact lens.
My dad is out back, he's playing an audio recording of someone chopping wood with an axe.
The Doctor has bought me a human kidney, I throw away an entire pot of ice cream just so I can fit it in the freezer.
The Doctor reads me a poem he has written at work. It is shamefully derivative and also breaks several data protection laws.
‘I love it’ I say, stroking his white coat.
Hard enough to kill a small horse
Each child that will cross these doors will be a vast satire on the last. I imagine a strong child, full of the body, a chin like young hatred.
A clod of a kid, wrecking the place with flat hands.
A quiet one watching their speech and ashamed of the wallpaper. A blue child cold and so blue but burning also burning.
A justifiable child with an average salary. No. Above average.
The child of hope walks into a doorframe. Three stitches.
Young child show me where to park my coat my car my wife.
A child that is, several adults stacked up in a trench coat.
Hundreds of child running through the strip, get them.
Under a barrage of childs, use my bunker now please we built it for just such an occasion. Continue.
How about a child with the confidence to buy a bus ticket?
A hollow child, they are filled with socks and gloves.
Just about a child but maybe even a monster, hells heart thudding.
A child selling secrets in the playground with sunglasses and a trench coat again.
A shower of golden childs.
Buckets of scalding hot childs dumped over the side of castle walls onto the poor.
The child yesterday we knew is admitted it must be said.
Oh! Child. Never come back here again until you know better.
A warm child by the radiator, keeping the cat happy.
A rich child, fired out of a catapult.
Ed Jarrett is based in Brighton. He writes mostly prose poems and is sorry.
These poems are in copyright to Ed Jarrett and may not be reproduced without the permission of the author.
Photo by Antonin ALLEGRE