Save me from distant relations
tossing herbs and spices, sand-blasting
old quarrels. Don’t
stop me screaming. I can’t
wail at home, the walls are thin
the neighbours would complain.
I keep my head down.
A block of silence breathes above me
in a house that has tasted of cinnamon
all day long.
Jo looks uncomfortable in black
her skin damp with sun cream.
Three of us in Sally’s naked front room
ice cubes rattle in long glasses
Sally is high on a trestle
dressed in mahogany
and ivory silk
wearing make-up she’d hate.
She sleeps like a drunken memory
as Chris Rea seeps through the yellow passage
crawls up our spines.
When I loved Jo’s husband
her lips settled into square hills
and I was removed from all else.
Now Jo smiles,
‘You’ve put on weight’
She looks, and sounds, like our mother
has grown extra arms to fold.
We fill our eyes with each other, knowing
that Sally was the last reason to meet.