You are here

Please can I have a man

Selima Hill

Please can I have a man who wears corduroy.

Please can I have a man

who knows the names of 100 different roses;

who doesn’t mind my absent-minded rabbits

wandering in and out

as if they own the place,

who makes me creamy curries from fresh lemongrass,


who walks like Belmondo in A Bout de Souffle;

who sticks all my carefully-selected postcards -

sent from exotic cities

he doesn’t expect to come with me to,

but would if I asked, which I will do -

with nobody else’s, up his bedroom wall,

starting with Ivy, the Famous Diving Pig,


whose picture, in action, I bought ten copies of;

who talks like Belmondo too, with lips as smooth

and tightly-packed as chocolate-coated

(melting chocolate) peony buds;

who knows that piling himself drunkenly on top of me

like a duvet stuffed with library books and shopping bags

is very easy: please can I have a man


who is not prepared to do that.

Who is not prepared to say I’m pretty either.

Who, when I come trotting in from the bathroom

like a squealing freshly-scrubbed piglet

that likes nothing better than a binge

of being affectionate and undisciplined and uncomplicated,

opens his arms like a trough for me to dive into.


From Magma No 9 (Spring 1997)