Co-conspirator

1.
Of all the women, you shone right through my hand.

Perhaps it was the long hours spent playing snap –
sparks of recognition, shared amusements –

fires, tables, pillowcases and
sparingly, Adams apples,

discretely mixed
decks.

2.
But this is our first appointment. (Keep in mind
greetings are the long-way to estrangement). I cut to the chase:

How long, I wonder, will I be in your life for this time?
At each interview I ask this at least once,

I’ve learnt to evacuate a tone in the un-categorical throat of company
right from the get go – I will allow a wild case of the hiccups

if it comes out of nowhere
and so it is to you
my first words become

GLASS of WATER.

3.
And so it will be no brief life of thirst
but debriefed, hand-opened,
trick of advice –

‘You must drink from the glass upside down,’ you say,
unwrapping your mouth, clearing space.

So I swivel on the couch, flinging my head over the edge of the seat,
bum where my back would usually make its hut
and sip appropriately from a glass,

water upright,

bottom lip relegated to the highest rank of features
conscripted for this audience.

4.
From here on you are a combination

falling headlong into the ceiling fan,
playing in the plaster work -you peck the strands of perspiration
that fly between us, moistening compromise

over details.

A lamp-neck witnesses the hand shake,

for the calibre of negotiation looks down on natural light
that can so easily debilitate the full implications
of a patient object.

5.
We’re honoured to do business in such esteemed company
as these monkish lamps.

We seal the deal by flicking light switches
into the early hours,

illuminating our laughter,
until we place our teeth about our bunched fingers,

still in hysterics,
though comely,

as two women should be when turning things on their head,
watching the moon perpetrate the curve,

murder just showing
through.

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