Summer 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Terry Collett


Sex and After

She knows one day
Sex will be a memory,
A nightly séance with
Her dead self. Hardwick
Will still be just one of
Her many lovers, pissing
His pants in some old folks
Home, dribbling over his
Shirt, forgetting her as he
Turns to go numbly to sleep.
She inhales her cigarette,
Watches the smoke rise,
Sees in the corner of her
Room, a spider hanging.
Hardwick is due at seven.
He will bring white wine,
Foreign food, the hot sexy
Movie they both want to
See, then to bed, sex, sleep.
She exhales the smoke, holds
The cigarette to one side, her
Naked body sensing the warm
Sheets. Suzie he’ll say,
Putting the wine and food in
The fridge, placing the movie
On, can we try that position on
Page 35? Last time it was page
32, the position not much fun,
Too much work, quite hard to do.
Mother’d turn in her grave to
See her thus. Naked at four in
The afternoon, smoking French
Cigarettes, thinking of hot sex,
Wanting old age to stay away.
She sits up, stubs out the cigarette.
Mother died of cancer, too soon,
Too much, no answer. Hardwick
Will bring and expect the same:
The wine, the food, the sex after
The movie, the sleep after in her
Double bed, and all the time that
Humming of her mother in her head.


As You Walked Home One Summer Day

These lanes are very narrow
you said
walking with Jane
from the parsonage
where she lived
to where the farm road began
Are they?
she replied
I’ve never thought about it
just that the hedges are high
and the birds chock full
in them and their songs
you said
They are
and in London
there are no hedges
or narrow lanes
and the only birds
are sparrows
and pigeons
and you wanted
to take hold
of her hand
and squeeze gently
the flesh
and sense her pulse
but you didn’t
you put your hands
in your jean pockets
and gazed sideways on
at her and her dark hair
and her profile
and the scent of her
like lavender
as if she’d dived
into a wide field of it
and embraced
the flowers and stalks
What bird song is that?
she asked
No idea
you replied
moving closer to her
the scent getting stronger
the desire to be closer
taking hold but still at bay
It’s a blackbird
she said
You’ll learn them all
the birdsongs
and where and how
they nest and in what months
and you nodded
and saw how
the summery dress
moved and swayed
as she walked
the flowered pattern
like a field moved
by a soft breeze
and her sandaled feet
touching the graveled lane
and you thinking
how it would be
for them to be held
and kissed by you
if she were beside you
lying in a field
or in one
of those tall woods
and you pursed your lips
and she looked up at the sky
her eyes gathering
the blueness
and whiteness of clouds
and she said
Monet would have captured that so well
and You
you muttered
He would capture you well
each aspect
of your face
and hair and eyes
and she smiled
and looked at you and said
I’d want to be captured by Renoir
have his arthritic fingers
clutching brush
and capture me
and maybe secretly
lust after me
and she blushed
and turned away
and you thought
Oh yes yes yes
but said nothing
just gazed
and breathed in
her being
her beauty
all there
for you to view
the eyes
the hair
the profile
the way her lips smiled
and sway of walk
and the tall hedges
seemed to explode
with the wild bird’s talk.


© Terry Collett


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