Stitch-Up by Andy Mann

Thread for her:

Time was, I’d pander to your whim.
Though recently the bruin’s been more grisly than teddy.
This panda watched you. See?
This cuddly love-token you accepted in your boudoir,
my cutesy Chinese bear with webcam eyes.
He saw you fuck my friend.
That knowledge morphed me to the fiend that I’ve become,
more Frankenstein than lover, frankly,

Thread for him:

Friendship, love, hate,
what should you sacrifice to mate? Old Mate,
my erstwhile friend, perfidious cuckolding stallion.
She was my mate; I gave her everything, my life, my love, my hope.
I should have smelt the coffee. Dope.
Never the angel I believed, I was deceived. Oh, not by her: by me.
Yes, I created her. I made that woman fit an ideal in my brain.
In truth, she would fuck anything in trousers. And she did.

‘What you see you get,’ she said: to me, to them, no doubt to you.
Hey, sauce for goose is sauce for gander.
Take another gander. Many have.
But then, of course, you can’t, Old Friend,
Duct-taped to the body you’ve enjoyed.
So, you desired her tits? Well, you shall wear them,
her bits for yours; slot for manhood. Good?
That’s fair exchange in my book. Synergy.

Dead needle:

She wanted cock. I’ll give her yours, Old Pal.
Wear it proudly, Sweet Thing, may it bring you joy.
What’s that you’re mumbling Sweetness? ‘Stitch-up?’
If you say so, Darling — Suture self.
With this rusty scalpel I’ll excise your faithless hearts—
(where some move on – forgive, let live – I’m going to up the ante)
—and scoff them, braised with fava beans, your livers,
and a nice Chianti.

A version of this piece was first published in Infernal Ink Magazine in 2013.

Some say Andy Mann is the dark alter ego of an octogenarian Anglican vicar. Others believe he was once the white-clad nemesis of Jeremy Clarkson. The only facts known for certain: he has conned enough gatekeepers to get fiction, creative non-fiction and non-fiction published in diverse places, in print and online and was once, falsely, accused of poetry. Andy’s hobbies include baroque music, embroidery and taxidermy. He is currently underpinning his sagging creative writing pursuit on a degree course at Birkbeck, University of London, where lecturers and fellow students insist he is kept under maximum physical restraint at all times.