is in her bedroom. Too early,
I am eight and she is seven. We kiss
in alleys and wardrobes like martyrs . She’s freckled,
Catholic, and has a mouth on her. Later,
I find she’s a goddess when the family
move to Olympus Avenue in Speke.
But for now, I’m below her window, head back,
can’t sleep. Her face is nothing
to write home about. White trash County
Cork, St Matthew’s Bleeding Heart.
But I love her!

When I squelch her slimy palm to mine or
stuff tangy yellow love-hearts
into her neat little gob
whose lips are small succulents
in the Mexican desert of the Gaumont’s back row,
I know why I was born,
drooling with wonder
and sugar, a matinee ecstasy
the shape of Anne’s cheekbones.

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