Linda Collins

Linda Collins


it happens

on the advice of my cognitive therapy group, who are excited by my fear of fucking – even the shrink is licking her lips. Flatshares, they all eagerly tell me, can be a turn off, so on the advice of a bunch of dysfunctional bored strangers i rent a one-bedroom flat so i can have privacy and sex. They said to try my boss. I got drunk after work 

and asked him back to mine. He takes off his suit jacket: a smart grey masculine object, him and the jacket, one would think? But no. A Marks and Sparks blue shirt un-butt-oned, reveals a multi-skin-fold stomach, sprouting grey hair even over nipples, below is something shrivelled yet rising nobly as if from retirement,

i believe it is a poem penis

as it happens; in my small kitchen we stand awkwardly, him with his shirt off, and he tells me how his wife saved a baby owl and named it Ted, and i’m wondering – 

all the while, the thing rising from retirement or is it the grave, & there is 
a cognitive therapy group to report back to.

i must     kiss  this mottled skin   must know

this is old material & it is not gold, Joan

What do i really want – sleep? Or the novelty?

Security spotlights shine through
the kitchen window,
the glare’s a real passion killer

he tells me nervously,
as he grabs my hand; puts it on 

a newly hatched chickling

LINDA COLLINS is a New Zealander doing the Poetry MA at UEA. She was second in the Mslexia Single Poem Contest, and shortlisted for the Bridport. Her Singapore/NZ memoir, Loss Adjustment (Ethos Books), is forthcoming in China.