The Thursday Poem: ‘breather’ by Tracey Slaughter

All week this week we present new verse, to celebrate National Poetry Day on Friday. Today’s poet: Tracey Slaughter of Thames.

 

breather

 

1.

*

The only thing left of god by then was the key to a hotel room. Is it worth saying the room was turquoise & smelt like us coming in an arthouse film, a space for everything bad about deconstruction & lamplit polyester unfringed with irony. All I wanted was your fingers inside me like ten wet disciples.

*

Brick room with skin diptych. I could catalogue everything squalid. Chintzy pelt of the superking. Diaspora of insects round the bulb like core samples. Cheesy pallor of formica coffee tables, nested. Drapes avocado as an old bruise. Oh let us tour the cutlery drawer in all its nickel ammunition. Smell of your torso pay-by-the-hour along mine.

*

‘I just had the weirdest five minute dream. You were giving me a blowjob in an asylum.’

*

I meant for this to happen & happen. Adjacent to your tongue tip there’s zero I care about. Indigo fishhooked the carpet’s sky blue crime & no soliloquy of guilt would stop us getting the wet skin we’d paid for. Everyone we owed was out of range. Under us a pub the colour of a cellblock. Easy. Just slip off the lace of thinking twice.

2.

Call your wife, can you fill up the diesel, she needs it for ballet practice tonight. Call your wife, the goddamn taps in the ensuite have jammed again, can you just for once. Call your wife, she is solo in the ritualized kitchen where the lights have blown out. Call your wife, leave a message at the sob. Call your wife, she is learning the hard way. Call your wife, the histology is back. Call your wife, her lipstick is audible. Call your wife, she’s on her third bottle & the kids are starting to look like stars. Call your wife, she remembers the colour of the wallpaper in neonatal. Call your wife, she is talking to you with her head tipped back so you don’t hear the asphyxia. Call your wife, she has access to the archives. Call your wife, because there will be a tomorrow. Call your wife, she has a thing for Sinatra. Call your wife, to hear her mohair voice. Call your wife, your account is in the red. Call your wife, she is right where you left her. Call your wife, in the living room simmering, she is the house set alight said aloud. Oops, we encountered a problem, try again in 3,2,1 to. Call your wife, she will not ask again, she will try to sound futile, this is love not surveillance, she is holding an hourglass, she is hewn from decent clothes, while I put you in my mouth, she is stranded in the blueprints, it’ll be a quick fix, the kids need picking up from the smoke. Call your wife, she will speak at your funeral. Fuck me hard, then call your wife.

 

Tracey Slaughter, 2018


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