Simon Jenner

    June 7th, 1980

  The day we struck out stories from the fans,
  my sister flirted with Corinne
  who loved women, but later married.
  Delingsdorf’s one lesbian commune
  let one vetted man listen on moon-blanched throws
  to Joni Mitchell, millennias of male oppression.

  Cristiane, Corinne’s once straight sister, brought us
  to twin her birthday with Sian.
  ‘We’re the Gemini in convex mirrors’ – she laughed
  her laissez-countess height down on us. ‘We’re
  monkeys who talk. Corinne’s Cancer,
  she talks in between like fans. It’s time.’

  She led us rumpling past once-ruby drapes.
  The fans lay breathless as stuck butterflies;
  one from the epoch of smoke-glass judges
  inscrutably squint from behind the 12th century.
  We trusted such fragility, sneezed the other way.
  Drapes swayed, breathed out their dust-tooled legends.

  She plucked the freshest with shell-blue motifs
  never stilled to image or fixed telling. Sixty degrees
  the sextile of opportunity; straked down
  for disdain. Pinking ears to stop others burning.
  Nose tap; right lobe: quiet; yes, after this charade.
  Later – a flick – when men here left forever.

  ‘You both need to size down your words to your eyes
  here. We’re tough but there’s a grain – like the –
  parchment? – we crack along your promises.’
  Past the sudden wing-patterned rug, flecked for the stars
  burned ominous to umber patches, cig-flicking
  grounding the fancy, she touched our fluttering down.

  Who died young, breathless to her dark lungs;
  led us down before the dope ceremonial.
  Corinne’s high-bright cerulean eyes
  glittered china from china pouring light gold.
  All slowed to a sister’s arched eyebrow
  lashed to her elder’s answer.

  It kicked in, magnified; faces sprang open,
  each blurred wrist-flick shook smiles
  from us, tendresse from my sister. ‘Silences
  you lead gently from their crude esperanto’
  Cristiane spieled, ice-sober between giggles.
  ‘Now you can understand your English better.’

    Simon Jenner © 2007