I awoke and through the sting of night-filled eyes I saw a cracked watermelon sitting on the pillow next to me. Josephine crawled out from under the smooth sheet and balancing on one elbow, her chin resting in the palm of her hand, stared at me expressionless. She feigned a smile and all I could do in way of exchange was offer a sticky-mouth grunt before closing my eyes once again.
Sometime later, it was hard to say how long, the touch of damp lips on the tip of my cock brought me slowly back to life. I imagined this as some kind of final peace offering and was grateful. After watching me come down from my brief high, she split the watermelon open and let the soft pink flesh and pips, like resting flies in the morning half-light, crumble and flow onto the bed. With hands like crude shovels she scooped up the sticky fruit filling her mouth veraciously and letting juices flow down her chin and neck and over her smooth brown breasts.
Later, when she was gone and when her side of the dresser was empty, I surveyed the bedroom searching for evidence that she had been there at all. All I found was a dry pink stain spread out on the bed sheet in the shape of a rudimentary heart, and like a small child I dragged the sheet close and wept.
Ninety three degrees and my back is wet with sweat and I don’t just mean damp. Unsticking myself from the leather sofa is like ripping a week-old plaster off a festering cut. They say if you do it quickly it won’t hurt, but it does.
You may not know this, but it’s actually a public holiday today. Great weather for it you might say, but tell that to the family of the woman across the way who was found rancid in her apartment this morning. She left bloody scratch marks around the sealed windows, on the door handle and across her bare breasts. People go sour in this heat.
180 degrees and the oven is damson.
It doesn’t take too much flummery
to keep Jack and Ivy on the edge
of their sweetbreads. Another minute
and they’ll syrup their tureen with bergamot
till the marrow exudes from their barberries.
For my mother
From you, Google says
I am nine thousand
five hundred and fifty four
kilometres (as the crow flies).
If a crow were to fly that distance,
I would position myself upon its back,
my knees tucked tight under its wings,
my hands firm upon the black
and shiny feathers of its neck.
I’d feel every sinuous movement of
wing muscle, every strain and effort
needed for height and forward motion.
I’d look down upon the greens,
browns and reds of land below
and pass over blue oceans deep.
I’d see other sons and daughters
on the backs of bees, butterflies and cranes,
heading too, like I do, to their mothers,
to be home under the first wing
we have ever known.
they are not my words my inflection or even my tone
but instead are dragged screaming out of someone’s
book that I once flicked through not caring enough
to read end to end but instead skipped and danced
through all the pages just so it could sit proudly next
to the others like soldiers at attention on a high shelf
You letter the alphabet with your body
on the edge of the carpet, squeezed between
the coffee table and the tv. You are trying to do
a downward facing dog, or an inverted ‘v’,
or so you tell me. The cat looks on disapprovingly,
waiting for you to move from the cow to his own pose,
of which we see in the house daily, though not by you.
Other letters and animals are also on show,
though I question the alphabetica and the biologica
of some of them. I glance over the top of my book
just in time to see to you plank into a tortoise
and then stumble from a tree to become
a warrior queen.
Open a book. Open two books.
Read three lines from a poem
by Jenny Bornholdt;
the one about a duck
called Duck Three Ways.
One line per duck.
Put both books back.
Stand and scratch, glance
down at the snow covered head
asleep in the bed.
Move to the lounge, dragging slippers
from room to room to room.
Flick on the light. Somewhere dark
is a little brighter for it. Somewhere
light has had its brightness stolen.
Sit only to stand once again.
Scratch once again, an itch
that has been an itch for some time.
Know it will fade, just as the fog in my head will fade
Look down at my hands, they are like dad’s,
but his hold mine and mine hold the world.
Take the three strides
to the fridge, where that little something lies;
that cool little something
that will help
reaches into the oven
would have had
vying for my
able to say
I want to say