The Un-Niceness of Nice
Caved four weeks into the hills with her,
her son, his woman, beans barely boiled,
steak sizzled, skins singed;
juiced red like the sun.
I scooped dust from melons, swept
flesh from floors, rectangled beds,
while the sun shook off the sweet
shade of trees; rained insects and figs.
One day free a week, I was dropped in the city:
Don’t be swept off your feet, she hissed.
No men, miss! I remember her English
though I forget the son’s French.
So I made like a lizard:
slipped into heat’s skin, flicked out
my tongue, dribbled the red of his steak –
spit on my lips.
(from Into the Yell, Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010)
Sarah James is a poet and short story writer. Her poetry collection,
Into the Yell, won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011. Now out for kindle and other e-versions.