Taking my Echo by Claire Collison

Taking my Echo

by Claire Collison

Taking my Echo

He leaves me to undress,

when the gown is torn,
lays me on my side,

plumped on cotton pillows,
smears my skin with jelly.

My face to the wall, he asks,
Am I comfortable?

His young arm, spooning me to him
is warm on my belly, supple

where my nipple was.

He asks me to breathe deeply then
out then stop breathing –


don’t breathe



(I am underwater, lungs full)





He takes pictures of my heart;
it gushes like an old twin tub.

Claire Collison is a writer, swimmer, teacher, and currently Artist in Residence at the Women’s Art Library, Claire’s poetry has appeared in Butcher’s Dog, New Boots and Pantisocracies, The Island Review, South Bank, Yorkshire Mix, The Compass, and Templar Anthology 2016. Her novel, Treading Water was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize. She received the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, and came second in the inaugural Resurgence Prize.

Claire Collison was shortlisted for the 2016 Flambard Poetry Prize.