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The Words

Hugo Williams

Hearing the words for the first time,

I come back feebly

with a plea for clemency:

‘I can’t believe I’m never going to

sleep with you again,’


Horrible to hear such things

coming out of my mouth

at a time like this,

but she is generous in victory:

‘You know we will,’ she tells me seriously.


‘But when?’ I ask innocently,

blowing any hope of recovery.

‘When you’re not expecting it,’ she replies.

How can I convince her

that I’m not expecting it now?

From Acumen magazine issue 50, 2004.