Testing Time

(runner up in Hysteria Women’s Writing Competition 2014)

A plastic stick lies in the bin, discarded by the dozen.

Sobriety will be a pleasure when you are ready to request it.

But for now I’m allowed a daily numbness,

while I’m mourning every lack of sickness.

Three laps of a clock, then I can search

for a life


memorised instructions checked one last time.

Self-enforced showers wash away the minutes,

rubbing steamy glass to make view-holes.

I stare through, longing for a sense of blue,

then slow-motion towelling

as monthly windows are closed behind frosted glass.


Holding the cord in the bathroom,

I stare at the mirror to look at how I feel,

before returning to the tea, returning,

just me.