I damn near came before you touched me,
which was as well, because you never did.
You walked as if oiled, bare-chested
in the heat. I could define every muscle
as you rippled towards me, count your six-pack–
how many times I counted to six–
smell the sun as it came off your skin.
You smiled at my carer, stood shoulder
to shoulder, nudged her breast. Left me
as spare and angular as my chair.
The abject ache in his lower bones
is as familiar as the sound of her slippers
hushing across the laminate. Carefully he hooks
the chair over and levers himself into it.
Wheels himself to the great window
overlooking the garden. Feels green life
pull at him with its thousand filaments.
He smiles, loses himself in watching a leaf breathe.
He can smell the tang before she arrives
with the tea. She busies herself; serves;
puts the extension on the chair so he can
elevate his leg. Says something or other.
The tea is not as warm as his gaze upon her.
Her voice is ripped silk. He feels himself stir.
Jennifer McGowan is based near Oxford and is a member of the Back Room Poets. Her latest acceptances are in Prole, Dawntreader, and Morphrog. Also, she says: “Paxman writes me fanmail. Trufax. Totes legit.”