by Liam Wilkinson

Then there’s the man
who comes in every Saturday
to loiter in Romance.

His face may be milk-white
but in those hot aisles
his cheeks glow
to the pink of the spines.

In a panic-climax
he seizes six or seven
and fiddles impatiently
as I stamp them with a date,
before he makes his exit,
sniffing like a beast
at the jackets.

When does a man find
the dregs of his fantasies
in the scent of hand-cream
still lingering on thin volumes?
Is it the erotica inside
or out? Where the book
might have ended up
in those sunlit suburban semis?

Now I’ve taken to washing the covers
before Saturday comes
to preserve the last of those ladies’
most private passions.

Last updated May 02, 2015