OR (June 7,1979 / South Africa)

Breakfast

It was already noon
but I was awake.
You came into the kitchen,
a black band tied hurriedly in your hair,
blue vest strap falling off a shoulder,
our bed creases still trapped in your eyes.
I had made breakfast for you,
the spread fruit sweating on the table,
their colours like a child swimming
at the height of summer.
You leant down and fed me a kiss,
unfinished from the night before;
the kiss that had passed from your mouth
moaning before it knocked us unconscious.

You waited as the kettle boiled.
I noticed the red polish on your toe nails,
and the shy Japanese parasols
spread across the bones of your feet.
You stood with your hips swaggered in that way,
as if they had just taken half a swig of whisky.
The blue vest strap was still unhooked,
you continued to let it off of lightly for its behaviour.
I was glad I had forgotten to make tea.

Back at the table I watched you eat and drink.
Your fingertips picked at the fruit in a familiar way,
and your lips scooped up the melon like it was my chest.
You chewed and swallowed and chewed and swallowed
while I watched waiting to leap on you again from the shadows,
to find that spot on your neck that I'd left half-eaten,
to peel you open and leave you to ripen softly in the sun.
But you just looked up at me between bites,
laughing at the wounds you'd left on my shoulders,
comparing the dedication of your teeth marks to mine
and patching up my skin with a toothpaste tongue.
So instead I ate a strawberry and two nectarines.
I had to pretend I was hungry too.

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Comments (1)

Poetry at its most excellent best, Oliver. Can't speak too highly of this one, and it will go into my favourites. Will definitely read more of yours if they are this good...... Love, Fran xx