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