Poem of the month: How to balance law books on your head by Holly Hopkins

Each month the Guardian’s Review section selects a poet or poem to highlight

The problem isn’t how, I absolutely know
the answer is to go to a Main Street
some town I don’t live and find a stranger
who hates me, and my clothes, and my voice
and who (while they would never dream
of hurting me in person) suspects
the world would be better with me dead,
and persuade her that she wants to stand
so close my greasy nose presses into hers
and, recycling each other’s soupy breaths,
balance the books between us on our foreheads.
My only problem is how to do that.


• From New Poetries VIII edited by Michael Schmidt and John McAuliffe (Carcanet, £14.99). To order a copy got to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.

Holly Hopkins

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