We took turns at holding the knife

We took turns at holding the knife
Like two players from Westside.

You acted the liberated woman,
I made my exit as the graceless
Fay Weldon man.

But you held the knife first, making you the prime culprit my dear
Because, as you once explained to me,
Playground rules never disappear, they just hide in the thickets
Of our pubic hair.

We held hands under the victory phallus, the high zest of Trafalgar Square.
Your heat travelled. A wave changing left-of-stage into a particle.
An illegal lodger, snug as a bullet, in the squalid housing of my build.

The birthday watch (your delicately inscribed gift) screamed in alarm,
Waking me from a pleasant yet somehow tainted
Afternoon. The look in your eyes told me that
Soon, very soon, a role reversal was to take place.
I felt a tide surging from my non existent womb,
As I pleaded, Dido-like, for your Aeneas heart.
It was too late, we were too close to the finishing line
For another start. And you my dear, were through
with your game of debauch and depart.

We think of chance as a creature of spiky persuasion.
A fleeting shooting star, a once in a lifetime affair.
Yet being the daughter of randomness, having that chaotic lineage,
Means that chance is often an actor in a small production,
Forced to stage many guises.
So when you rang that time -mid-November- hungering
For our last Christmas lights, I should have felt the tide turning,
I should have listened to my heart. No devil handed the knife.
No death pushed no cursed cart. I made the plunge, I forced the dart
And held you, a wounded Echo, across the telephone line.

We took turns at holding the knife.
Our pride took care of the rest.

Hassan Abdulrazzak

If you've any comments on his poem, Hassan Abdulrazzak would be pleased to hear from you.