Can I make it home, or do I shit
in the woods? I squat above the moss,
breathing its pheromones, my scrotum
shrunk like a walnut in the cold breeze.
I push quietly in case the dogs
on their morning walks come sniffing.
It drops on the leaves
with a muffled thud, and the smell
is like marzipan, not offensive
as it is against the clinical spruce
of the ordinary bathroom. It steams
in the dirt; the undigested sweetcorn
bright as stones in a brooch.
Coconut milk, rice from Shanghai,
spice from Afghanistan,
all remaking itself, feeding the trees.
I clean myself on a sycamore leaf,
smooth as a grocer’s handkerchief.
And then I see them: pregnant
as fish-bowls, weird as a hedgeful
of skulls. I pull one out of its hole
gentle as a midwife, palping the domed
head in my hands; I carry it home
on the bus; it sits in my lap
like a baby, plump as an arse,
smelling of milk and cinnamon.
The Ecstasy Of St Saviour's Avenue
Tonight the tenement smells of oysters
and semen, chocolate and rose petals.
The windows of every flat are open
to cool us, the noise of our limberings
issues from every sash as if the building
was hyperventilating in the cold
February air. we can hear the moans
of the Rossiters, the Hendersons,
the baby-sitters in number 3; a gentle
pornography rousing us like an aphrodisiac.
For once the house is harmonious, we rock
in our beds; our rhythms hum
in the stone foundations.
We shall have to be careful;
like soldiers who must break step on a bridge.
We stagger our climaxes one by one,
from the basement flat to the attic room,
a pounding of mattresses moves through the house
in a long, multiple, communal orgasm.
The building sighs like a whorehouse.
We lie in our sheets watching the glow
of the street lights colour the sky; the chimneys
blow their smoke like the mellow exhalations
of post-coital cigarettes.