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The Hunger

An electric gap opened between my hand and yours on the remote

Bach’s solo suite for cello counterpoint to TV-strobed

Apricot cushions, my pyjama legs draped over yours

ridiculous and puppet-like as you withdraw


I panic like someone nodding at an English-speaking foreigner

so close, so strange

and yet so tantalisingly familiar- 


You and I invented our own reality

in a hot and bright atmosphere of synchronicities;

a shared passion for C.S.Lewis (had secretly read Lace)

collected Kinder Surprise, agreed on sacrificing our hymens

for tampons over panty liners, we relayed one another’s

impulses as though the air between us was water, our brains coils

drawing the current between your house at number seventeen and

mine at thirty-one



dared one another to feats of mortal danger, drove our

bikes into the water-filled quarry, made rites of passage over

condemned rope bridges, channelled menstruation’s terror on

gas pipes thirty feet above the ground, on government electricity lots,

on holidays where my parents and yours tried to separate us

loathed each other and agreed on one thing only- it had to stop:



obsessive contact, chocolate-milk binges, backyard back-flips in the pool, on the trampoline, on the grass at the corner lot, where we drank ice-magic and spun

around to make ourselves puke

I sprawled, skull like a melon in your tanned lap and

bum-puffed a sophistocated brand of menthol cigarette


we had mulberry fights, giggling, descending into violence

forcing black and purple fingers into one another’s nostrils and ears,

clawing each other’s faces, we

made-up, hogged the downstairs bathroom,

swept blue and purple eye-shadow 

streaked blush, tonged curls, pouted at the mirror, 

prodded and compared nipples, critiquing form and style

practicing so we’d be ready for him, when he arrived




like a puncture

You escaped like the hiss of air from a tyre,

but I caught your hand on the remote

when Catherine Deneuve kissed Susan Sarandon on a late night TV

film called the Hunger

even though I could sense the danger

and knew you were too old for vampires. 

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