Sunday 28 August 2016


─ ˘ ˘ ─
Of course, we never touch. We're disciplined now
And the metre of you and me constrains us.
We are structured and formal, bodies in line.
Now I know the circumference of your neck -
I shall buy you a leather collar, in black.
On the plate by the buckle I shall engrave
Your name, set in a fancy, elegant script
And when no one is looking, it shall be yours.
You shall put it away then, keep it secret,
Take it out on occasion, wear it alone
Sometimes, think about me, and rhythm, and pain.
Of course, we never touch. We never transgress.
We keep two beats between us, our choriamb
Set in every line, ecstatic, restrained.

(Note: A choriamb is a metrical unit of four syllables, a stressed syllable, two unstressed syllables and a stressed one. This poem is written in elegiac hendecasyllables, a strict metre used by classical poets, among them Catullus, in which every line contains a choriamb.)