DELTA OF VENUS ON THE BUS
Cruelly, I bend the pages back
until the force can be felt in the spine.
The volume opens like a calyx,
freeing its horny pollen of words.
My hand trembles. I lay my palm
against the cool smooth paper,
flex a single quivering finger
and caress the length of a sentence
that ends with the word “vigorous”.
I have hidden cover, title, author’s name –
folded them hard into each other.
But the words writhe shamelessly;
inky exhibitionists. How many times
can one use “penis” in a ten-page story?
How many times before it launches
itself into the aisle, daubs its likeness
on the steamed-up windows, provokes
the driver in an obvious fashion?
How long before all eyes are on me,
everyone knowing what I’m reading
and forming their own conclusions?
Neil Fulwood was lives and works in Nottingham. His new collection, Service Cancelled, is published by Shoestring Press later this year.