Nice

Dana lies on the leather sofa.
Louis sits on the woollen rug.
In their mahogany frames his painted birds
twitter above the aquarium.
In its black metal border her Rothko print
broods beside the airconditioner.

They put a DVD in the player and watch
on the widescreen TV
a movie about Jim Morrison.
Louis’s eyes drift shut.
Jim, channelled by an actor, trance-dances onscreen.
Dana stares at Louis:
tonsure, stubble, frown-lines,
hints of age-spots.
Jim Morrison in his leather pants
shatters some American night with his trail of words.
Louis wakes up, sleeps, wakes up, sleeps, wakes up.
The credits roll in a Ray Manzarek John Densmore haze.
Louis and Dana sit for a moment.
She’s in a moody Jim Morrison silence. He’s
not. She thinks,
       I’m gonna leave you.
       I could say it now.
       It would be so easy.
But it’s not a good time
to rearrange the furniture.

They go to bed, she careful not to touch
because she doesn’t want to fuck. She says
— So you’re coming to my show.
— Yup.
— What would you like me to sing?
— I dunno.
— Which of my songs do you like?
— Uh… I can’t think of anything particular right now…
there’s nothing I don’t like…
I like the ones you do with the keyboard.
— Just as well — you hear them
every day.
— And the ones about Paris — they’re very nice.

— I need to sleep now.
— OK.

— What’s your favourite band?
— I dunno.
— What’s your favourite food?
— Yoghurt. That mango one.
— That’s too sweet for me now. Funny how your tastes change
with time.

(First published in Creatrix)

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