We stripped him
ran a knife through his belly
shook the treasure out:
Ransacked his memories
bar coasters bearing more than one woman’s name:
Forced his rigid form
through the narrow doorway
in darkness, hushing each other
so the neighbours wouldn’t hear.
Ten years of dust in our fingernails
leaving a crumb-trail behind us
xxxxxxxxxof condom wrappers
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxand more guitar picks
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxget them get them
Cockroaches made refugee
Italian leather in tatters
gutted, we laid its carcass
in front of someone else’s house
then tiptoed back upstairs
to confront the vinyl imposter
still in its bubble-wrapped bondage.
Impassive, it watched
as we argued about screwdrivers
our sweat speckling the carpet
But we got it upright
plonked our arses on it
drank wine, smoked weed
in silence; co-conspirators
in a breathless meantime.
Note: the title is taken from a line in a pantoum by Peter Minter, ‘Wallpaper Codicil‘.