Luke Tredget explores relationships in these three poems.
Morning after night, she stared at him with such intensity
that eventually his face collapsed.
An eye caved in,
a nose dropped off,
skin fell from the bone like slow-cooked lamb.
“A rare case of Ruins Lust,” said the Doctor.
His decimated head was declared a national heritage site.
Families picnicked beneath the arch of eye sockets,
lovers caressed in fallen tufts of hair,
until the playground of his crumbling skull
became too dangerous and precious
to enter at will.
Still, she strained for a glimpse
behind barricades and ticket booths and tourist hordes,
every eyeful sending another part of him tumbling
and rendering him more desirable than before.
Considering our Trip to Trieste
Ryan Air is flying me to Trieste for £26, and
I will do everything they tell me to.
I will read carefully and tick or untick boxes,
depending on the implication of said tick.
I will weigh and measure my luggage days in advance,
and insist Michael does the same.
I will print spare copies of our boarding passes.
I will prepare for engineering works, or a person under a train.
I will check in online.
I am flying to Trieste, pearl of the Adriatic, for £26,
and I will arrive at Stansted unnecessarily early.
I will not take the gate notification for a starting pistol
and jog half a mile like a hamster in a tube.
I will walk with Michael, handheld.
I will wait.
For £26 we are flying to Trieste with Ryan Air, and
I will accept an aisle seat next to a fat man, away from Michael.
I will say hello to the man and wink at his screaming child.
I will make myself comfortable.
I will marvel at the skill of the pilot during take-off.
I will commend the fat man’s purchase of Pringles, and
the relish with which he devours them.
I will search out the back of Michael’s head and, finding
his mousy bristles, will wonder if he’s sleeping.
I will close my eyes.
Ryan Air is flying me to Trieste, Lonely Planet’s most underrated
European city break destination 2012, and
I will applaud our graceful landing.
I will be the last to step from the chilled cabin and
feel the sun like a warm towel on my forehead.
I will float through customs to the arrivals hall,
alive to the ciaos and espressos and dark haired boys,
and Michael will take my hand from behind
and kiss me
and say: “Hey. You survived.”
Thuds and Whispers
It’s a simple game to end a night.
We’d sit on opposing sofas and throw a
football at each other in an arc aimed to kiss
the ceiling in passing. Most hit nothing, some made
a rude thud, but we stayed up for the one percent
that hissed against the plaster, releasing a secret whisper.
Then we’d take ourselves to separate rooms.
Finally, I stripped the living room of everything,
but decided to leave the ceiling uncleaned;
as if the smudge was a message for the next tenants,
a warning from the world of what might have been.