To Turn and Fall

nine and a half meters; 

a foreseeable twenty more years, 

sixty-three square meters, 

and a large sink where she would hand 

wash the nappies, never again shall she

descend the stairs to a laundry room, 

and the vows —

about three minutes each

(rambling as he would — that an altar has to be

so much like a stage)


nine and a half meters;

till they ask me if I do and of course I do—

three hundred guests expecting a cake cut in two

and hand fed, photogenically, between the two

(daring to touch their lips only with cream)

while at least 130 of them cry again,

their awning lids flickering.


nine and a half meters;

of stone floors that would crack the skull

of a fleeing bride, no doubt. 


nine and a half meters;

of finger biting relatives whose husbands

hush impolitely as they wipe their wet noses

with their off-trend shawls.


she’d often thought about fucking those





does Jay want to put it in my aunt?


nine meters and sixty-seven centimeters

to be exact. 

and it had been so good those first months—

hard against the metal-clinking of the window-blinds

as her cold butt-cheek fled back and forth back and forth;

her hand-plucked nipples catching the cold

in the air. 

when was the last time Jay had sucked on her nipple?


nine and a half meters;

nine and a half weeks

of fucking the neighbour in the laundry room.

never again

(the nappies will be hand washed till her fingers

melt off the bone and even then there would be

no more fucking)

only nine more meters.


eight now. 

he was there of course;

sat on the sixth row waiting to catch some of the depravity—

the unspoilt scent of alabaster beauty;

he loved the outperformance of it all.

(I guess I did too—

why we kept coming back for more)


fuck me in these knickers she had said

pulling elaborate lingerie out of a laundry bag

in the space of cobwebs and concrete residue she undressed

steading herself against the out-of-order sign,

put on stockings so thin you could not take two lovers in a day

without leaving a trace. 


such beauty must be broken she said

(even a laundry room can be a stage) 

and he put his fingers in her mouth as they came


five meters and thirty centimeters; 

Jay smiled

she would die a thousand poetic deaths only to

have him brush a bush aside as she walked,

hold a hot hand to her cheek and sigh,

for there to be more sickness and less health,

for the stocking he picked out to come undone

thread by thread


two meters;

one meter seventy;


you’re such a klutz he said as she

ran with new stains across the hall


one meter;


how she cried as she watched the over-washed clothes

turn and fall

turn and fall


twenty centimeters to;

turn and fall.

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