Smooth Talk – Pat Brown

Short Sunny Periods

Sun-sweetened walls are warm and honeyed
Enough for finger licking.

Chipping of light glint up
And out of the rollered grey.

But tearstains are islands of black
In shady places behind the walls
And in draughty back-alleys.

Their jagged coastlines are deep-incised
With fjords and neckletted with rugged skerries.

Dark depressions come too in elongated
Strips that go on round the corners of tomorrow

And down into the tamped clay
Draining deeper than spitting.


Nobody has lovers anymore.
Well that’s what he said
This man on the radio.
They have partners and sexual
Experiences which sometimes
Are satisfactory. Do they really?
They don’t make love
Leisurely, loving it
Loving he, living she.
Go on. Get away.
Well he did have a funny accent
So perhaps something got lost
In the translation.