Last Summer

From this hill top distance
above the slope of the estate –
there – in thinning October light –
almost aligned to your rooftop –
I see that solitary oak still in leaf –
forever isolated – also cast out –
under which we took our shade
and where my laggard fingers
gripped at your then-bared skin –
slipping below your blue shorts –
flimsy attire suited for sunshine –
but now the cool dew counters
such all out abandonment –
our laid time remains in summer

Box Hedge

I ran my dipped fingers
through unscented hedges
as I tried to leave the rings
of your invisible traces
from our long afternoon
of deep interrogations –
the footpath steepened
to demand some attention
but I flipped my focus
back to that gratification
which I had deposited
on the untrimmed hedges
of the respectable tenants

The Cows

Two good legs shunt the shed’s herd
of black and white hand-numbered hides
into the single storey milking parlour
where the udders are washed and latched
to German engineering by Israeli hands

We would pour unpasteurised milk into a jug
and cross the lava-hot tarmac on bare feet
to then undress and take a long shower
with the coldness in our throats as reward
for hard work and hard fucking

The daughters of my brother’s bovine care
look at me with unrecognizable stares
as they chew on the sweet feed at my feet
They do not know of the kindness I showed
their forebears under these shaded beams

The Card

A cut up credit card
does not remove a debt
or explain missed payments
in these days of scores

It was shown as proof
that the imbalance
had been addressed

I saw him emasculated

his balls in your hand

that white-edged flesh
like sliced up fish

But the smell will remain
in your palm

no matter how scrubbed

of plastic and cuts

Public Bar

Six collies stitched
an unseen thread
among the table legs
of the public bar

more dogs than drinkers

but the pub was good

and the beer sat well
as we touched again

Then on the forecourt
we pressed mouths
in a guilty kiss
tasting of bitter and gin