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I wrote these last year after a particularly disagreeable shift at a gallery opening, and have just re-discovered them. I hope you enjoy.

The Gallery Opening

i. Lap dog lap,
stole against the cold,
fingers like vines wound through jewellery trellises,
in croning tones of weariness enquiring where the wine bar is.

ii. Wheezing effete with a similar mother,
hand on the dress he insisted she wear,
feels a fire in his loins that he only half-quashes
when she talks about him as if he’s not there.

iii. Single-legged woman clothed in wool,
voice like water.
Exhibits in the gallery upstairs
prints of naked martyrs,
their genitals erect like hands in prayer.
Her eyes dart round the room. Tonight,
she’s seized by appetite for someone new:
he’ll do. For starters.

iv. Wine glass-boom and pillowed middle,
art-school marker.
Students here tonight. Nice gesture.
Musn’t tell the wife.

v. Latest haircut, lizard’s tongue,
tasting the air to ascertain
the moments when she ought to laugh,
stay silent, or congratulate again.
Because, you see it would not do
to hint to them you somehow knew
the game. Obscene, but true:
that an attractive sycophant
is better placed to win a grant.

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