I ordered a couch with slender legs, soft
as a girl, with the feel of an earlobe
or peach. The colour of cream
left out, a cat’s tongue lapping the light.
A couch for buttered Sundays, smooth white wine,
for leaving bills to crinkle and yellow.
A couch for entertaining Marcia,
for her gold legs to unfold and open.
Imagine my horror when I tugged free
the last piece to find a woman, flat-packed
at the back. Polished and white as a sink,
she’s hat-stand tall, and doesn’t say a word.
She’s quite the thing next to the piano,
one arm half-raised, as if about to speak.
by Rowena Knight, from All the Footprints I Left Were Red (£5.99)
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