About the face she’s photovoltaic.
“There’s marriage to make men
lecherous,” she says, “I see it all the time
in characters like you.” Still, a casual mention
of the yacht by Lion Island sends her
into a lather. She’s dramatic; American,
emphatic – tattoos and piercings in vertiginous
array, an anodyne piece of tinsel nonetheless,
and her structured hair is the bomb. A cigarette,
a shared song, a languorous interlude. She works
in a call centre – “it’s not transcendent,”
she says, “not a bit.” You make to leave.
Well, she’s blocking the exit. “In Russian,”
she sidles up, “the word for secret
is the same as for mystery.” Hmm
portentous – and it’s too late to know
if it’s really so – she doesn’t want you though,
you figure that much, not beyond
this booze-raddled night. Somehow you get her
to the run-about, with a bottle of bourbon;
a twist of the throttle and you tear out
across Brisbane Waters, pinching luck, past
the oyster leases, past an old gaffer in a tinny
fishing the neap tide, threading a seam of silvery
water. Later, by some narrative device not herein
recorded, you proceed to the forecastle, from cuddling
to many acts of intercourse – lovely, burlesque.
Sentiment flows from you then:
Cherry blossoms floating
on a spring thaw stream.
First published in Cordite #28.1, Mulloway, April 2007. The Mulloway issue was put together in tribute to Robert Adamson.