Tania Hershman




This heat was not expected
as soldiers are not expected
as rain is expected
as some babies are expected
as that lost package is
              never expected to arrive
and you are not expected
to come tonight, but I
sit here anyway, heart
wide open, not expecting




I want to be
the expert
in your rare condition.
I want to be the only
surgeon in the world
who knows how
to cut you open, stitch
you up. I want
to watch you while
you’re still sedated. And
as you cry and thank me
I want you
to hold my hand
for slightly longer
than is necessary.

I want you
to be the cop
who takes me
into witness protection.
I want you to be
the one who makes up
my new name. I want you
to be the only person
in the world who knows
my location. And when
a year later, you come
to tell me that the case is solved
I want you to lead me
to your cop car,
holding my hand
for slightly longer
than is necessary.


TANIA HERSHMAN’s debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, will be published by Nine Arches Press in July 2017 and her third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, by Unthank Books in May 2017. She is also the author of a poetry chapbook, and two short story collections, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). She is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland.


Read more by Tania Hershman:

Author’s Website
Poem in B O D Y
Poem in Visual Verse
Poem in New Boots and Pantisocracies