He meets a woman
image of his florid dreams.
Flexing his biceps he feels the sleeves
of his long-suffering shirt
squeeze. Somewhere between elbow
and armpit a punished seam
gives up the ghost.
Shoulders bulge, muscles
swell his chest, threatening
to burst his buttons.
He preens, his regiment of
standing neatly to attention.
to protect myself, he says,
should someone come to shoot me dead,
I need no bullet-proof vest;
I’ll disarm them with a flicking blow.
I’ll take the life of anyone who tries
to cut me with a sword or knife.
You’ll be safe with me,
and I will show you all the ways I know –
all the sweet techniques that go –
a homecoming queen.
She surveys the stranger,
his toned build,
his suntanned skin,
his hair the hue of a fox’s
mane, every strand contrived to
look stylishly out of place, the ice-
blue eyes that gaze, the handsome
face, chiselled in such a way…
of his jib.
Get outa’ my way, she coldly cries,
killing him with her scimitar eyes.
©Jane Paterson Basil