Dear John

You must cook your own dinner
I planned to cook
Even went to the supermarket
Then, picked up a melon
With the scent
Of faraway places
And shopping in ancient market squares
With colours and chaos
Where the vegetables made your hands reach out
And the fruit made your saliva glands lust
And the vendors were thick set swarthy men
Keen to sell you the fruits of their hard labour
And their women beside them, tough, hair under armpits
Large breasts
Hard, knowing faces, hands on thrusting hips
Hips of five strong children
And suddenly I was there; here now John
Wandering past the olive vendor
Tasting his wares
Smelling smoked hams, feeling salami’s
For tonight,
Baby squid
And one huge green and red tomato
Garlic and oil and a bottle of local red
Then sitting outside Bar Ercoli
With the sun beating down so hot
The sweat runs between my rejuvenated breasts
And my thighs are damp with
Mediterranean moisture

I’m wearing that white Chanel dress John
And dark glasses
And my hair’s in an elegant pleat how it was

I hope you understand
I must stay awhile
La bella Signora Inglese

I’ll come home soon
Till then, dear John
Fishfingers in the freezer

by Nicolette Turner

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