Katy Evans-Bush

Two Days Before the Fall of Kabul

Katy Evans-Bush

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On the examining table,

woman leaning into my back

as the hard end of her scanner

presses into my breastbone.


Looking for the sort of evidence

the body gives up to scrutiny.

Is the heart up to the forces

ranged against it. Or not.


Her weight on my body:

closest thing to a hug

these six months or more,

maybe more. I’m comforted.


The bird this morning, lying

so still on the cage floor,

simply toppled, more

than ‘primly propped’, no one

but me to get his back.


How can she even locate

breastbone amid so much

annoying bosom, flopping

all over, so surplus to — to —


the world. It’s too much. World.

This sense of foreboding,

his feathery yellow at odds

with — with all but joy

— this moribund heaviness.


The technician’s weight

so discreet. So subtle

in her own way, so loving,

never seeming to notice

what she’s up against.


But I’m breathing more slowly.

Maybe relaxing a little.

We are women together

and this is what she does.

This abolition of aloneness.


The more she leans into me

— her warm human weight —

the calmer and more

vulnerable I begin to feel.


I took his cold little body

so yellow and so perfect

to the office of a strange vet.

What else could I do,


there are foxes in the garden.

I think of his perfection.

The paper towel covers

maybe one ungainly breast


and I close my eyes behind

their foggy screens. Technician

behind me can’t see the tears.

He was helpless against it.


Katy Evans-Bush


Katy Evans-Bush is the author of two full poetry collections. Her most recent publication is the pamphlet Broken Cities (Smith|Doorstop 2017), and her essay collection, Forgive the Language, is published by Penned in the Margins. She lives in Faversham, Kent, where she is a freelance editor and poetry tutor.