They don’t do it anymore,
breathe into the mouth to save.
We had learnt it reluctantly,
lined up beside a recumbent dummy,
waiting to take our turn to kneel at that mouth.
The simplest things disturb –
at night when the fluoros shut off and the cover is pulled,
the tiles swabbed – there it lies open,
not even a ventriloquist’s dummy
is so exposed.
‘Lifesaving’ won second place in The London Magazine‘s 2015 Poetry Competition
Originally from the UK, Wes Lee lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her chapbook of short fiction, Cowboy Genes, was published by Grist Books at the University of Huddersfield and launched at the Huddersfield Literature Festival in 2014. She was the 2010 recipient of The BNZ Katherine Mansfield Literary Award, New Zealand’s foremost award for the short story, and has won a number of awards for her writing, including The Short Fiction Prize (University of Plymouth Press), and The Bronwyn Tate Memorial Award in New Zealand. Most recently she was selected as a finalist in the Troubadour Poetry Prize 2014 in London, and shortlisted for The 2014 Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Prize in Ireland. Her poetry has recently appeared in Westerly, Meniscus, Poetry London, Magma, Dazzled: The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize Anthology, Cordite, and NOON.