A warm splat of lips to cheek
is his greeting: feels like a bird
shat on my face at close range.
I’m dying to wipe his slobber gone:
even though it’s not the done thing
at such a genteel gathering.
Fretted flowerbeds and fingernails
frosted to shimmer like pink sweets,
pretty pedicures in peep-toes
that pinch and heels that plunge
deep into the host’s lauded lawn,
but it’s too posh a do for us to kick
off shoes. Great Aunts and cousins:
sometimes distant for a reason.
We perch and chat nice-nothings,
clink china beneath trees that smirk
down loose leaves in our careful hair.
He sidles closer on the picnic bench:
long time, no see – how I’ve blossomed,
apparently. His hairline is sidling away
and my instinct is to follow as it flees,
though I fear it’d not be quick enough,
so I’ve no choice than to stay,
arching my body away, a contortionist’s
stretch, a talent I never knew I possessed:
any other day, I’d be quite impressed.
The tablecloth drags with his sliding knee:
linen wrinkling disapproval under plates
of swollen scones and I have to steady
my tea from spilling. His elbow winks
blithe to my side, his hip creeps sly
up to mine, polyester trouser-heat
gluing sweat to my thigh.
I edge, none to subtle,
to the end of the seat. Any nearer
and he’ll be slap-bang in my lap,
like a grabby toddler, demanding
a lick of my cream: I’ll have to pierce
his testicles with a cake fork to make
my point and escape, throw my tea
hot in his crotch, or topple my body,
as if Pimms-pissed and heat-stricken
into the laughing hydrangeas:
there’s no way on this earth
he’s getting his jammy paws
on me. Sometimes, like I say,
we’re distant for a very good reason.