Monday, 4 May 2009

Another revision



They’re hardly touching

It's only after the carefully timed removal
of his coat that they appear to feel at home.
He gets up, abandons the perfect shape
of his arse in mounds of coat piled on the seat
and a woman with a blonde bob fingers the corner
where the zip is with a nervous purpose.

It's taken a whole spritzer each to reach this point
of layer removal, to the revelation
of his pink-striped top cut off at the sleeves
and an overwhelming smell of fabric conditioner.

The woman has clearly done everything
to rid his scent from his public self.
At home, though, in quiet moments on wash day
I reckon she lifts his worn shirts by the sleeves
and sucks deep breaths through the weave,
her nose in the armpits, savouring the intimacy
of every last molecule of sweat.

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