But you still go to his little cottage in the country and eat his scrambled eggs, gently folded, special recipe made with a squeeze of fresh orange juice. And you do suffer his hard little body, receding hairline and Neil Diamond , seducing a poor girl from the country with her vowels drenched in cow piss and rotting cider apples.
He has a wall-sized gilt mirror next to the bed and his sheets are Harrods white. When he’s in the bathroom you sit up, side on, poke out fashionable little breasts, swoosh hair down your back till it reaches your arse and look at yourself, neck arched, like you’ve seen in pictures of a pre-Raphaelite goddess and later, bad porn. Next time he brings a bottle of Scotch. You put it on a dressing table where the afternoon sun turns it into liquid gold.
‘I’ve been up north to get something sorted,’ you say.
‘Why didn’t you tell me. I could have had it fixed it for you closer to home,’
He’s taking out his cheque book and Parker pen, silver. And how many other girls have looked in that mirror, something worming its way right in.
He said he’d call.
First published online in Dogzplot (US) 2012
in my melancholy baggage
there’s a dead dog a dead dad
a dead friend or two
a first love gone to fat
too many feuds a la cab sav
silver dance shoes
with a broken buckle
a black velvet dress for a boy
who danced a sore throat away
mum with a tongue sharp as a paper cut
a cream plastic lamb on a xmas tree
one stillborn burning at my uncle’s farm
the dead tabby on the way home from school
ringed with stones and cringing petals
and the walking fish outside the Bio Lab
speared by Cousins with his compass
stopped in its placid tracks
minding its own business
Finalist in Goodreads poem of the month January 2013
First appeared in Windmills, 2011
Jumping out under the blade-slap, whop-whop rotors of the blue helicopter we did the blackest diamond run. Clicking tips, Rossignol red, we carved ghost tracks into the gentle face of Franz Josef, an ice age in retreat. In the cafe we kept our beanies on. Steam erupted from the gagging coffee machine. Cloud-breath evaporated. Slicks formed from boot-drip on the timber floor. In the air you could smell hot chips, someone in the chair opposite was eating a hot dog. I drank chocolate, melting to marshmallow at the thought of how we’d taunted that giant.
On the bus back down the wind screamed up in a white out. We sheltered behind pale blue panels of the rusting bus. Snow shagging off branches. Bodies with limbs like twigs could have been poking out of the snow. Marooned in the remote, we were black ice, white knuckles away from that. We listened to windows splintering under hundred mile an hour spleen, bus heaving its warning, plates shifting in glacial memoir, or was it humour?
Later at Happy Hour we drank Bourbon, ice clinking its thawing ways
against the sides of thick glass.
First appeared online in Penduline, (US) New Zealand Issue, 2012