by Helen Woods

Contains strong language.

The first doctor insists that my relationship
with food is to my self what a seed is to a fruit,
that my eating habits are the moon and all
my life’s catastrophes are the tide. The second doctor

makes a diagnosis I can’t pronounce.
My father tells me I will fuck up my life
if I don’t get a grip, which is all
strictly medical terms. I want

a perfect life that everyone is jealous of.
I want all the water I touch to turn
into pearls, I want a miserable life
that everyone is jealous of.

Summer is to me
what a stained glass window is to a fist.
I should have prefaced this poem with an apology,
to my family and to the NHS

because there is nothing you can say to a poet
and be certain it won’t be set loose again.