This poem is such a joy. However many times I read it, I still find myself tickled by the dryness of it all (‘he has no second name’), then unexpectedly touched by it too. That combination of make-believe and mischief is beguiling.
Sarah, Picador poetry editor
Yesterday evening I finished
with my imaginary boyfriend.
He knew what I was going to say
before I said it which was top of my list
of reasons why we should end it.
My other reasons were as follows:
he always does exactly what I tell him;
nothing in our relationship has ever surprised me;
he has no second name.
He took it very well
all things considered.
He told me I was to think of him
as a friend and if I ever need him
I know where he is.
'Stanley' is published in Lorraine Mariner's collection Furniture