Another third person relationship poem; as yet untitled
You’d best shoot the messenger
if you like flowers in clear plastic coats,
or sugary hearts. This story contains
bleeding, dripping engine parts and gears
repaired by an English mechanic in May.
He has a thick tongue and something
big to say. And it’s bound to be tricky.
Today, he’s bending his will around;
bullying it to get this great lump
past his throat. To do this, he’s been
chucking back supermarket coke.
By the time the time arrives,
his left knee resembles one of those
paint-mixing machines. Thrumming
and jiggling in time to the chaos, the
fear and the caffeine, in his brain.
The sign outside the garage
looks like rain. Its letters are wobbling
and lacking in firm, readable substance.
And we need this, he thinks. Proper,
substantial stuff, in order to live,
to breathe, to ask momentous questions
of a girl who’s soon to arrive.
But never mind. He will have to base
the night’s assertions on the vague,
shimmering sliver of love, which
he’s cultivated and kept, wedged
carefully into his hindbrain,
like toys on the back bedroom shelf.
And all of it will have to do
in place of a ring. ‘I really mean it’
instead of a loop of glorified tin.
A promise, in place of a public kiss.
A poem, and not a performance.
If it turns out for the best.
If she says of course, are you kidding? Yes.
This will all be worth.....
But time’s getting on.
He fixes his shirt sleeve, with a quick,
nervous flick of the cuff. Noticing
(for Christ’s sake) a tiny trace of dandruff
on the roughly ironed shoulder.
But it’s too late now. We are already
over the top, past the barbed wire,
well into the historic battle
of the J.L. Motors car park.
And this is all part of an epic,
ten year ‘I love you’ type war.
And she’s finally here.