Sunday, 30 March 2014

But With Strangers

They say you should tell friends about these things:
encounters in hotel rooms. No real names.
Receptionists who note the lack of rings.

The small talk in the lift. The minor things.
The bigger stuff; hard, soft, establishing
your limits, laying down rules for the game.

What word to use (or silent sign to give,
should the chance of speech be interdicted,
mouth covered by a hand, airway constricted)

to signal 'stop'. Take care that it's mundane,
as then you get that rush of blood from begging,
saying 'no' and knowing that no letting-up's

forthcoming: screaming, sobbing, all the things
you see at night behind your blinking eyes,
played out in beds that may as well be rings

where, in a whip-and-chair-tamed wild surmise,
a sacramental violence is offered,
changed in essence and not accident, where 'lover'

is too small a word, while others
are as cliched as the codes on phone-box cards.
Where, like a cartoon victim, you see stars;

where, like a real one, you acquire scars.
There are risks involved in doing this, it's true.
That's why they say you should tell friends. I never do.

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