Teenagers in Love
by Vikki Littlemore
I chant superstitious rhymes
and stretch chest muscles; for you,
watch teenagers in the sun,
tangled arms and tongues
at bus stops.
I walk past; thirty-two.
I watch as other girls with bigger breasts
suck the wet lips of disposable men;
the same white light in the sky,
shining like something other than the moon.
In the defragmented, opium flame and glaze of sun,
in the silk-soft gilded green and bird song
of warm and cool afternoon;
gently softened skin exudes the absorbed
heat of the day, skin; soft, lush as the watered grass,
tender under the palm of him, whose palms are
somewhere else, wandering over someone else’s
skin with borrowed caresses, cupping undeserving shoulders,
drinking the evening in ignorance.
On benches or in the burning flare
of back-gardens; next to hosepipes,
trees. Tiny red spiders on thighs.
And we, in garden chairs with pens
blooming and fizzing
with impotence and infernal futility
cup the shoulders no-one will