FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2011
The stinging kitchen cuts, the tiny smiles
engraved by thorns, the gritty scuff of stone;
most bleeds are small, domestic, meted by
the cosy slings and arrows of the home.
We do not choose to think of other blood
from surgery or accident; a flood
we tell ourselves won’t happen, that our skin
can be relied upon to hold us in.
Yet there are those of us who can’t resist
a curious knife or fingernail; who lift
the fragile epidermis, watch the red
puddle and rise, hypnotised, fed –
sometimes, brushing teeth, I bite my lip
to taste the bitterness of blood and mint.
to Adjudicators Report