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Elaine Feinstein

Illicit one-time love, your face

was narrow as mine, Italian as

De Niro. You were fortunate

to escape marriage to me, yet

sometimes, I confess, you visit

my salacious dreams. I wear black

lycra above the knee, and meet

your eyes as if you were an eager

punter on Great Windmill Street.


It’s years since I gave back your rose cut

diamond ring – which doesn’t show much wit –

so why would I think of calling you this evening

half way across the world? I have

your number, but see no point using it.

It’s far too late for an alternative life.

You would have hated being strapped for cash.

And who can tell how long we would have

burned together, before turning to ash?


From Thumbscrew No 15 (Winter/Spring 2000)