Issue #8


[After Walter Sickert]

In their living room,
he is seated, his head raised and looking off to the right,
his wife, at the wall behind him, looking out to the left.
They are barely there.

Often now,
another enters him and
inhabits him.

It is not convenient.

Or, she surprises him by being there already,
stepping out of the bath,
beaded moisture backlit upon her neck,
reaching for her towel.
The towel is hers,
as are all the towels in her house.

Sometimes she’s there, just
getting washed like that,
or cooking, in nice clothes, a meal.
At other times she sits at her table, unfocussed,
like them.

She’s no notion that she’s there at all.
he never asked her in.
But he wonders now, fears,
whether the mind can leak.

Did some small lit signal,
pass from the moist curve of his eye
across the table and please her,
one night when, their actual guest,
she sat laughing,
throwing forward her bright and elegant throat ?

He tries to hide the small, lit signal,
by looking to the right,
as his wife gazes out to the left,
the two of them only.

His dutiful biography is stretched tight.
the  pressure of the
faint loveliness of
this other within him,

In this cinema not wished for,
in the flickering half-darkness within,
he sits in the nervous radiation,
burning at the contact place of their arms,
the one arrived, and him,
leaning into each other’s shoulders,
their slow coming together,
sending  the patterned wallpaper of his living room,
into fires of oil paint.

Andrew Myers