The girl on the desk
At the swimming pool
Did her job to the letter
To keep out the riff-raff
Insisting he prove
They had made him an offer
Their kind invitation
A member plus one
Gets in free this week
For the duration
Of the heatwave
But the generous proof
Remaining at home
In his humid back pocket
He declined the demand
And slunk away
Heating the air
Climbing the hill to home
With the girl
Who wasn’t good enough
For his gym to admit
To work off his sweat
With a body count
In the higher pixels
From the padded throne
Of his living room couch
He is still shooting aliens now
But in time she may
Venture to mention
The shower upstairs
Appears lonely for company
As she adds subtle cubes
To his dinner glass
And pacifies the cat
The unwilling coexistence of passengers.
Introduced with a nod, the proposal made
By the raising of an eyebrow;
The automatic courtesy shrug
Finalizing a contract of mutual misery
For several hundred miles to come.
A contract to ignore the insupportable,
With the unwritten clauses
Detailing petty irritations, annoying personal habits
And unwelcome elbows
Insinuating their way into the afternoon
As the fields and houses flash by.
A blanket of humanity, settled, staid.
Sliced-through by the rattling train
Travelling at breakneck speed.
Frostbite in the morning, wake with icicles on nose
I see breath in the bedroom as I fumble for my clothes.
Some people might view our affair as no more than a fling
But when the boiler’s broke in winter and you’re suffering
A portable hot-water-bottle, when all’s done and said
Is hardly to be sniffed at – so we ended up in bed.
Perhaps when sultry summer comes we’ll share this spot no more
As love born of necessity will melt away, mid-thaw.
But until nights grow warm enough to sleep apart, my love
I pray our hearts and minds in constancy stay hand in glove.