I need my trousers. I need to slouch
on something soft. The room is empty
except for a clothes-horse on its side
and another, unclothed, saluting.
I slide down the wall, it’s hot. The room
is too small. Everything is white. Bottles
of wine spill on the floor. Who did this?
Wine pooling, but solid, like jelly. And sweat.
Everything is sweating, the walls, my hair
even the clothes racks are wet. Dripping
like wild animals hot and wet and tired.
At breakfast I sign for my chinos
on an electronic pad. Are those flowers for me?
she asks. We both laugh and I love the way
and again, the way she cups her hand
over her mouth like something wants to escape
uncontrollably. I pull at stretchy plastic, she sips
her coffee and taps the newspaper, a hole appears
and I slide the trousers out, they are folded
neatly, ironed with lavender and soap.
I hear the door slam, the car engine, that faint
squeal of brakes that only her car with its oscillating
clamour, its start-up shudder, coughing and smoking, the web
of scratches in gold paint, mustard undercoat, mustard
interior, fermented apples, greasy paper, sweating,
a cheese sandwich in glad-wrap, silicone, a netball
rolling in the boot, sweating, down the street I hear a thud
and then a roll and then the slow fish of escaping air.