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The Saturday Poem: Diality


by Hugo Williams

The shock of remembering,
having forgotten for a second,
that this isn't a cure,
but a kind of false health,
like drug addiction.

It performs the trick
of sieving you clean of muck
for a day or two
by means of a transparent tube
full of pinkish sand.

Your kidneys like the idea
of not having to
work for a living
and gradually shut down.
Then you stop peeing.

Dialysis is bad for you.
It takes you by the hand,
but it doesn't lead you anywhere.
The shock of remembering,
having forgotten for a second.

• From I Knew the Bride (Faber, 12.99). To order a copy for £10.39 with free UK p&p go to guardianbookshop.co.uk or call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846.

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