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Sport 2: Autumn 1989

from The Treasury

from The Treasury

When any two people make love, there are at least four other people in the room with them

There are five people in the room with us when we make love: my mother and father, your mother and father, and the woman you once lived with.

My father and yours are talking, sounding each other out. My father is less attentive to the conversation, and uncomfortable; your father reminds him of police, priests, and teachers. Your father thinks the room is untidy.

My mother is watching us, proud of me and pleased to let me go. She wears gloves to scatter petals of blessing over our bodies, saying, 'Enjoy yourselves.' I don't care to leave my book and stop little Katherine from pasting torn drawing paper to the wall with her spit — let her father deal with her.

Now my father is knitting bridal veils to cover us. Knitting isn't something he is good at. He casts (me) off and drapes his head with the small sampler — a bird asleep in a covered cage.

Your mother is looking out the window. She thinks she sees you on the lawn, reading a book — an eleven-year-old with gate-post legs. She doesn't recognise the man on the bed.

The woman you lived with has a leaf-mister that she sometimes aims at us, spraying your genitals with icy water.