I drank too much wine;
my father’s standard phrases –
mark my words,
look at it this way –
the whole room washed with him.
My partner piled books
for my mother,
read the titles one by one –
this one’s about a woman who leaves her husband –
but my father never heard a word.
I would gladly kill him,
even though I can imagine the little boy he was
and remember the little boy I was.
My father how tall you are and if you were a mountain I would climb you.
I swirled my wine,
imagined it issued from the stem,
wondered what sent it up.
My partner thinks I’m sleeping with a man.
Her tongue snaked across her bottom lip;
she threw it back at Dad – the counsel he clapped her with –
said, no you look at this
and I waited with my other man inside me.
How do you leave the table where your parents sit?
We tucked them off to bed
but I saw his pointed finger still,
the chop bone on his plate chewed to nothing,
heard him and said it’s not a fight and
wished I’d said it, my mother turning pages,
my partner fetching cheese and fruit.
In bed, she said, it’s strange, something’s not right
and left to be with baby.
I lay there with my other man
Still the cars slapped the wet road outside.