A fake tan, you smile and talk of double glazing,

Gesticulating carelessly,

Rose wine perilously swirling in cut crystal:

Aching to be absorbed,

To be at one with the thick pile

Of the carpet softly underfoot.


Teetering on the reckless brink,

Your hand sweeps

A landscape of crushed velvet,

Stripped pine and stone glazed porcelain.

The wallpaper shudders

And a forest of tiny fluted flowers

Flutter in a soft focussed haze of prosperity.


The Chanel No.5 does not hide your animal smell:

I sniff your tail and follow a trail

Back through the dank undergrowth

And under the arc of a tarnished moon.

I sense, in my wolverine soul,

You are not content in your containment.


We exchange polite small talk

And appropriate pleasantries,

Following the well-trodden path

Of dinner party etiquette:

But our eyes are treacherous holes,

Revealing the dark depths of our souls

And you cannot help but know

That I know you’ve seen

The shadows of lone beasts

Stalking your manicured lawn.


We clink our glasses and laugh

In the shallows of drunken night,

Making believe

Our contrivances have foundation:

That these car keys, this room, these people

Are not a construct, not a fabrication;

And yet, the sweet curve of your neck

In this soft yellow argon glow

Calls out to be kissed

And my lips quiver

With electrical anticipation.


In the space that lies between us

There is a high tension wire

That neither of us dares traverse:

It is forbidden to call upon the wind

In this suburban dystopia,

Even though your lips are raw

Underneath the smooth gloss

Of whalefat and pigment.


You are a vision in peach pink,

Salmon and mother of pearl:

You are perfectly contained,

Confident that the demons of the night

Cannot be unleashed -

For this wine, although expensive and fine,

Is not the blood of Christ

And these cigarettes,

Though the last word in elegance,

Burn down without fire.


And yet, still I ache:

I ache in my animal soul

To wipe away the unguents and creams,

To take you naked and strong,

To run wild as white water

Through the foothills of your dreams,

Howling to the mountains and the moon,

Howling to your scream.









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