Prayer to Be with Mercurial Women

Let me never have her father
call me, saying how’s about
a round of golf? Instead, I’ll take
the grim, forbidding monster
who inspects me for a crooked
trouser crease. And spare me too
from palmy evenings which sail by
in restaurants, on barstools,
without a storming off or two.
‘Darling, you were made for me.’
I pray I’ll never hear those words.
I need to feel I’m stealing
love another man would kill for.
When in sleep she curls herself
around me, may she whisper names
that are not mine. I’d prefer
to be the second best she’s had.
A curse on mouths which dovetail
as if there’s been a blueprint made:
I’d rather blush and slobber.
And once a month, please let me be
a punchbag. I’ll take the blame
for everything: I want to taste
the stinging of a good slap.
I hope I’ll find my begging notes
crumpled, torn in half, unread,
and when I phone, I want to hear
an endless sound of ringing.
Help me avoid the kind of girl
who means things when she says them,
unless she’s screeching, telling me
exactly what I am. Amen.

– Roddy Lumsden


About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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