Blood comedy | Granta

Blood comedy

K Patrick

The hospital makes everyone a boy, even you. I can’t, no matter what, I can’t change my childhood. A possible absolution. Pigeons land on the hospital roof. You call out to their feet which won’t stop moving. Stopping has become a mutual desire. The things we want to stop. Mostly sounds of other people. Occasionally, a bird. The pigeons don’t they do it on purpose. Ah distance is inherited we get it from our fathers. I am getting a divorce. Ah. You dare me to lift the bottle draining fluid from your armpit. I fail. The hospital forces a blood comedy, pinkish blood, blood with chunks, blood in a plastic carry case, blood upright on the bedside table. In sickness we permit endless requests. I make smoked salmon sandwiches. You are a simple, faraway father. What am I supposed to think about when touching smoked salmon? On the clingfilm I write your name in capitals. A masculine decision. My breathing is too loud. The hospital art is all still life, very still life. On the white wall outside your room, various wet fruits. There is nothing hard enough to bite down on anymore. Each tube of yours is a one-way system. I will not make any comparisons to love.  I will not.

Image © Community Eye Health

K Patrick

K Patrick is a poet and fiction writer based on the Isle of Lewis. In 2021 they were shortlisted for both the White Review Poet's Prize and Short Story Prize, and in 2020 they were runner-up in the Ivan Juritz Prize and the Laura Kinsella Fellowship. Their debut novel Mrs S is forthcoming from Fourth Estate in 2023.

More about the author →