Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Today's Poem from Tenerife

Girl, undressing.

Today in Tenerife, it is twenty-four degrees
with a little too much sand in the sky.

The girl is working, setting out her
kaleidoscope of dresses, tops and shifts.

When she is ready,
she announces the parade.

On one chair is an unfeasible number
of garments for one girl to wear.

The other chair crouches silently
waiting for the discards after their solo.  

She begins. Parading by the pool
in elegant toe-first steps.

Ten metres to the right, back to centre.
Ten metres to the left, back to centre.

Appoaching base camp, without breaking stride
her hands cross just below the waist and

grasping the hem, in one single,
upward fluid stroke, she has undressed.

Men become meerkats, staring and storing 
her tall, tanned, toned frame

now dressed in only
bikini and high heels.

Just as quickly, she shucks on the next dress
and for an hour repeats the cycle:

To the right, to the left,
undress, re-dress.

It is a lifetime of one night stands
enacted in an hour.

Afterwards, men buy their women
tops and dresses from her.

Penance for their wishes
to have been an audience of one

just once in a faceless hotel
in any anonymous town.

As she leaves they would say,
“I don’t even know your name”.

“Rebecca” she replies,

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