Game-Over

by Eimear Bourke

On the form you note that I have blue eyes
Not looking me over 
Not seeing they’re green 

You take off my bracelet 
and the change from my pocket
While we wait for the doctor to arrive

What it’s taken to reach this point
You don’t know. 
But it’s been a long time coming. 

The first sip was Guinness in a barn at twelve 
That maybe ended with bleary eyes in a basement 
From the get-go this game was never fun 

Levelling-up all the time
Not playing by halves
Whole shoulders of vodka at sixteen 

My prize is other-worldliness 
Jumping from cars 
Forgetting my name 

But the race ends, as it always does
and like a thoroughbred nearing the end of its prime
The pain the next day is getting worse

And now I’ve arrived 
At the ultimate glue-factory of life.

The doctor will see you now. 
We need you to pee in this cup.


Eimear Bourke is an Irish idealist and perpetual dreamer. Raised in Navan, Co. Meath, she currently lives with her girlfriend in Dublin 6W. Driven by a belief in purpose and fatalism, her poems are shaped by themes such as nature, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and memory. She is inspired by Rita Ann Higgins and Yrsa Daley-Ward. Her upcoming work can be read in the Paragon Press Journal, Impossible Archetype, Automatic Pilot, The Selkie and Poethead.

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