In his den
she smokes two of his Havana cigars
onto the run,
cracks open a bottle of Bourbon,
leaves the Pearsons’ Alsatian
thrusting at the cushions.
‘Please,’ she’d said to Benjamin.
‘Please,’ she’d said again.
Arms folded firmly across her chest
standing in the tall grasses,
like Hopper’s Cape Cod Evening.
Before she’d started to miss classes
Cape Cod was the last she’d studied,
Elaine, a swirl of colour in her belly.
She remembered looking at the painting
with scornful eyes and smiling.
Pushing her mouth, teeth bared
against the tendons of his neck,
tearing at his hair.
she puts up her hair with bobby pins,
makes up her face.
Panties, bra, girdle, stockings, slip,
dress, zipper running down her backbone,
a gold pin on her breast.
Scraping fingernails across her chest.
Pressing him with trembling arms against her breasts.
Fixes breakfast for Mr Robinson
whilst he reads the paper with grey fingertips
she hasn’t felt since New Year’s Eve,
counting down ‘til it was done.
Then once, on his birthday,
when he was drunk.
Sometimes in the afternoons,
she sits in the sun-porch,
smoking, drinking Martinis,
looking out the panels of glass
as the backyard grows dark.
Her daughter should know these things.