Tuesday, 21 June 2011

La Traviata


Her Thursday regular has dropped to the bed
biting her name (fucking slut),
and she’s waiting for these seconds
to wither before venturing
to call time on his obsession.

He ignores her at first, but slowly
unpeels his body from hers.
Unlike another there is no irritation of love,
instead he paws a breast, hands her
a second flutter of notes,
dresses wordlessly and leaves the room.

Now is the time she would hide
her eyes in the room’s dimness,
but the watch-door shrieks his trespass,
and snatching dressing gown and cash
she scolds his steps,
Go out the fucking front!

Lock bolted, chain pulled,
she turns to the forbidden door;
the room inside is hers.

Nibbled toast, cold cup of tea,
unopened letters hold their tongues,
the ponderous tap keeps beat,
threads of morning perfume die on the air.

Scattered taxi cards map her travels
in postcodes rich and poor,
World's Best Sis brown rimmed
and chipped dries in the rack.

Fags, keys and mobile
are gathered civically;
the foiled tool of her trade
tolerated beneath the congress.

She aches for the certainty of this room,
for its calm in her everyday storm,
but first she will wash away
the scent of a well thought-of man,
only then can she be secretly normal.