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Monopoly (after Ashbery)

I keep everything until the moment it’s needed.
I am the glint in your bank manager’s eye.
I never eat cake in case of global meltdown.
I am my own consolation.

I have a troubled relationship with material things:
I drop my coppers smugly in the river.
(I do everything with an unbearable smugness.)
I propose a vote of thanks.

I make small errors in your favour. Sometimes
I pretend nothing is wrong.
I won second prize in a beauty contest.
I am yellowing at the edges.

I was last seen drawing the short straw.
I hang about tragically on street corners, where
I hand out cards that read: if you see
I am struggling to lift this card, please, do not help me.

 

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is the author of A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia, published in 2009. She won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2010. Her debut collection, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), saw her win the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop young writer of the year award in 2016.

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