TRACES OF INVASION
I start with your sock drawer,
looking for clues. He’s not in the bathroom
where the usual signs should be found:
toothbrush, aftershave, maybe a razor
or spare inhaler. Neither is he in your
kitchen, a metaphor in spoons or knives,
rustling when one of us hungers. Nor
is he in the lounge, in the favourite pre-set
TV channels, the choice of furniture, or
the lived-in smell of your home.
So he must be in your bedroom,
hiding from one day to the next,
between the mattress and bed, or
under your wardrobe. But he’s left
none of his clothes: tidy, unlike me,
who could never be clean enough to be
discrete, leaving traces of invasion
everywhere for when he returns home.
Does he know? Does he see me
in the streaks of your mirror, or
smell me in the carpet when you
fuck him bareback on the floor
where you like to fuck me?
I find him eventually, misplaced
among bathrobes and towels, where
a polaroid falls like it was buried
treasure, pressed between His and His.
You call me a fruit,
and I agree,
a fruit is ripe,
bursting with juice.
You call me a fruit,
as though a vegetable
while I recite a litany
of fresh attributes:
a fruit is rich,
remembers its roots,
makes a display of any table.
I am the apple
that announces the gravity
of a given situation;
I am the pomegranate
whose gemstones teach
of the burden of possession;
I am the fig
our ancestors couldn’t resist.
You call me a fruit
and I agree:
soft, round and sweet.
Peel back my layers,
take a look at my pips.
Full as a melon,
sharp as a lime,
come over here
and bite me.
THE WAYS I MIGHT LOVE YOU,
GIVEN THE CHANCE
I might cuddle you on cold mornings,
both of us bound in flannel dressing gowns,
sipping mugs of hot chocolate
with a cat sliding itself between our limbs.
I might be so shocked at your touch,
electrified to a fossil,
that I merely stand, an adoring statue
while the fridge door hangs open.
I might bed you in reams of poetry
dedicated to your eyes, your lips,
your toenails, your verrucas,
while you gradually suffocate.
I might cook your dinner
and never work again,
as you go out and bring home
the rindless back bacon.
I might brandish a whip,
chain you to the bed,
as I make impassioned demands
you can never meet.
But I might just be me
with the bills and the shopping
and sod-all on TV.
Poems taken from Adam Lowe’s collection, Precocious.