Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Recorded at 'Citizens of the Archive' at the National Poetry Library, July 2017
Image by Amaal Said
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.
She received a brooch from a boyfriend.
She smiled, and promised to always wear it.
After he left, she went to her bedroom,
looked herself in the mirror,
then swallowed the brooch.
Silver bubbles tingled her throat and landed on her heart.
Her heart is made of purple velvet,
decorated with jewellery.
When her heart beats,
shadows of silver blink in her breast.