Poem in Which I Suffer a Slow Death in Chelsea

Despite the lateness of the hour, it’s far too hot for sex
but you’ve arrived on a First Class flight from Chicago
and we’re supposed to be having some kind of reconciliation
in this overcrowded Italian restaurant at World’s End
where the little waiter who comes to work each day
from Hammersmith on his roller skates is playing
an imaginary piano for us on a serving trolley and
you’re in that blue-and-white striped seersucker blazer
from Brooks Brothers which, as matter of fact, I’ve always
rather liked, but something about the way you’re wearing it
tonight is driving me mad; leaning back in your chair,
squaring your shoulders which are, admittedly, quite sexy,
and oozing entitlement, while those polished ox-blood stirrup
loafers are making it all much worse, plus you’re eyeing up
the youngest waitress in that short skirt while endlessly
banging on to me about synchronicity and how you nearly
castrated Bobby Kennedy after a drunken dinner
at the Hasty Pudding Club, so now I’ve pushed away
my linguine e vongole, and long to be back home again, alone
in my Fulham garden, tearing off the lovely heads from all
my roses, even those I’d hoped to save for the sake of
their red hips which they would have borne this autumn.

Angela Kirby


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