Conversation with the Doctor

You hold my breath before me,
pickled in a jar, it looks like veins
when held up to the light;
this could be life, this could be
the future of reproduction.

You bring me back, back in the room,
back to tweezers, and pills, and diagrams.
Look alive, look alive.

I click my fingers
like some kind
of anxious Mum.

My breath does not erode glass,
you’ve got the wrong girl Doc.
I would never call you Doc,
not to your face.

I want to talk about
my jaw grinding at night.

You smile in that way
people smile when a stranger
needs comforting, like I care but
I don’t care because
I don’t know you.

The unfamiliar familiarity
of feeling another human’s
pulse, drawing blood
in long, thick, tubes.

You have seen my tongue
first thing in the morning,
if that’s not love then
what the hell is intimacy?

Then comes the checklist:

Tick A if you see concrete
on a summer’s day.

Tick B if you see a heart
beating in a pickle jar,
a hand in the blender or
a knife in your eye.
Tick C if you see yourself
flying -belly up- with a
stupid grin on your face-
this could be a sign
of insecure sexuality.

What should I tick
when I put my stomach
in the oven?

I want to make life.
I want a tiny hand to clutch
my thumb.

Doctor- my therapist told me
I shouldn’t have children.

The sky is still concrete,
but I’ve got pretty good
at managing the waves.



Sophie Fenella is a poet and a teacher from London. Her first pamphlet was published by Invisible Hand Press and her poems have been published in a range of magazines such as Magma, The Rialto, and The Morning Star.