It lies on his thigh, dribbling,
dead to the world. She kisses him,
she’s not finished yet; she squeezes
the limp flesh like a pastry cook
between her fingers. He groans.
He’s had enough. She takes the slob
of it into her mouth
and tickles the head.

He grows in spite of himself,
swells in the moist blowhole.
She’s good at this, bringing him back again
and again from a premature end.
He’ll thank her tomorrow.
She fingers the gonads, they move
and squirm in their sack like a purse
of maggots. She’s got him now where she wants him.
It’s a two hand job the third time round,
and when he comes it’s barely a spoonful,
froth and bubbles, the mousse
of a good champagne. She tops
him off with a long sponge of her tongue.
He shrinks again; she kisses the hairs
on his thigh, he thinks that’s it.
She rustles about in her bag, pulls out
a rope, a length of silk and a plastic tube
with a pump on the end.

Like the Blowing of Bird’ Eggs

I crack the shell
on the bedstead and open it
over your stomach. It runs
to your navel and settles there
like the stone of a sharon fruit.

You ask me to gather it up and pour
it over your breast
without breaking the membrane.

It swims in my palm, drools
from the gaps in my fingers, fragrant,
spotted with blood.

It slips down your chest, moves
on your skin like a woman
hurrying in her yellow dress, the long
transparent train dragging behind.

It slides down your belly and into your
pubic hair where you burst
the yolk with a tap of your finger.

It covers your cunt in a shock
of gold. You tell me to eat,
to feel the sticky glair on my tongue.

I lick the folds of your sex, the coarse
damp hairs, the slopes of your arse
until you’re clean, and tense as a clock spring.

I touch your spot and something inside you
explodes like the blowing of birds’ eggs.

Ménage à Trois

Insatiable these mornings, full
of a drunk excitement, your eyes
have the glazed look of a woman
who hasn’t slept all night; you wake
me with mouth-open kisses, the smell
of a different room in your clothes.
You take off your dress and you show me
the stains on your skin
like the trails of exotic gastropods;
a body paint of semen
which I rehydrate with my tongue.
I trace the splash across your stomach
and over your breast, a thick dried river
of it, flooding again; your nipple
rough with a smear of salt.
That was one hell of a shot.
I suck on you greedily and slide
my tongue where his own tongue
must have slid long into the night,
and when all trace of him is gone
except the smell in your hair
we make our own maps on each other’s skins
and we fuck like we never do
without this heat inside you, without
this ghost of a man drifting between us
like a lover sharing our bed.

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Vol. 17 No. 15 · 3 August 1995

Twice monthly it is my practice to read snippets from the LRB during happy hour at my local, the Goat and Compasses. Neil Rollinson’s poems (LRB, 20 July) caused considerable discussion way into normal drinking time. Wilf, over in the snug, dismissed the lot as Page-Three titillation under the guise of intellectualism. Thelma, along with nearly all the lads at the bar, critiqued Rollinson’s obfuscation. Poetics carry an obligation towards pragmatics. By what means, I’m told to ask, does the heroine, using a. rope, b. silk thread and c. a plastic tube with a pump on the end, resurrect the hero’s ‘thing’? Harry said Pitt-Kethley would never permit such anatomically-impossible deception to grace her work. Short-shirt-sleeve Sam claimed it had nothing to do with what we were all thinking – it was really an allegorical commentary on John Major’s reelection. I’m neutral on all this.

Peter Good

send letters to

The Editor
London Review of Books
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address and a telephone number

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