Romance on Soft Furniture

This poem was highly commended in the Buzzwords 2016 poetry competition.


Everything is ready for the race –

come up here, lover

in your twisted hunger

with yellow coffee stains
on the inside of your teeth.
Chopin is on lead guitar,
Fahey on the accordion,
Tierson straddling his flute,
Schumann took the snare
because there was nothing else
to play; now the orchestra is ready –
come over, lover
in your peeled lace and your hat
that tilts your head like the winds
of the harbour.
The cows are standing
at the edge of the field with
brown horses and sheep,
looking over the fence;
the vultures are checking their watches
beside the children,
the young adults who are yet
to lose their hair;
everything in the entire universe
fits into the portrait
whose title is so long
and uses such ancient symbols
that no one can say it
in one breath –
come into the booth where
the coldest drinks are served, lover
in your dark glasses that leave
a ridge embedded
upon your nose.
The edges of the armchair
are bent to the shape
of my elbows and the windows
are still sweating from when
the sun winked at them
from a high angle;
the hosepipes growl
at the river as they pass by
and the history books tell us
that we are not new, that everyone
has been in love
a thousand times and every song
about it is basically
the same –
come towards the fire where
the piano-tree grows
out of smoke, lover
in your freckled spills
of paint and ice.
Everyone is on the line,
at the marks, the animals,
the drinks, the sound of an orgasm
three floors below,
the fighting weeks and years
who pretend to know
each other; everything
is about to go –
come into the afternoon, lover
in your morning sorrow
that carries wellington boots,
whistles and padlocks,
in fear of every occasion.
Come, lover,
come over here;
if i can make you laugh
before i pour
the first drink, will you stay
forever with me?