‘The Buttock’ and ‘The Bread’

In my hand the buttock was like a cool fruit.
But I could tell that this had not always been so

and that it did not always appear so.
It was slippery like a water droplet.

And in my mind there were a thousand names for it.

And I wished that my hand could be like a nasturtium leaf
and hold it with its tiny hairs in a constant heavy globe.

Because of the shopkeeper’s hands,
they had freckles and short ginger hairs,

I always bought a whole barracuda.
I didn’t want to see them tear it in half.

I didn’t want to see his nails dig in to the crust.

One day he asked what you were doing.
I’m perusing,’ you said.

That’s a good word,’ he said.

By the time we got home all the soft bread
was gone
and the crust was hollow.

Mice,’ said Mum.

I was sent to get the bread and no matter
how much we ate on the way
there was still always enough

to make sandwiches and eat with soup.

I picked at the crust with a finger.
You picked a hole in the middle.

We burrowed in to the white dark warmth.
And we lived in there

for as long as we could.
Every day.