by Hattie Grunewald

tarmac and dark grey cement flowed over her skin
and her hair was the colour of street lights
and when he looked at her,
the cars rushing past seemed only to be going
at 60 miles a decade.

her mouth tasted of newsagents when he kissed it
her lips smudged his.
eyes like rusty metal,
he kissed her.

and she didn’t understand half the words he said
but she liked the feel of fabric softener
on her naked skin as she pulled off his shirt.
she liked the smell of expensive aftershave
and she reminded him of bubblegum machines
in fairgrounds.

their hearts were covered in grass stains;
the mud of trampled feet in the corner of a city park
when stars aren’t visible under city smog
and the moon seems too old to care.

she could not even spell his surname
but when she danced she danced dark and
she was no longer lit by neon,
her skin no longer uncovered in public bathrooms
and he was traversing unknown territory
when she let him wander through her memories.
when he kissed her, he kissed privileged.

she spoke in plurals
and he breathed the words from her mouth
and smoke from her cigarette
and wine from her own breath.
her hands wander through the grass
to find her jeans’ pocket
to pick up a mobile to talk to a friend
he watches her, without moving.

and oh, what loves these be,
overlooked by tired moon and old trees
and the scream of rough kids far away
skin rough, soul rough
but his touch smoothes it away
and his chest is like marble in a Parisian museum.
his eyes are silver coins
and he kisses by the public school book.