This week's poem is taken from Nicky Arscott's Rack pamphlet, Soft Mutation, which can be ordered here.
Cheap Flights to Goa
The Israeli on her bodyboard again.
Alan licks his lips – fixed on the back and forth –
then misses his mouth with his straw.
Deeply embedded in cocktail hour
my toes clench sand – Alan’s horny old toes
attach too, like to the lining of a womb –
there are two types of person in this world:
them who can, and them who couldn’t
get a hard-on in a brothel, says Alan
sucking loudly. The Israeli girl is hiding
from the army. But which one are you.
The willing suspension of virility.
The Arabian Sea is heaven.
In a minute, a coconut will fall on Alan’s head –
killing him outright – and I will be unhappy
not to have got this sorted. The girl comes onto
land, her lovely cheek still resting on the board.
But which one are you, I say again – it is difficult
to peel away our eyes: her hair it spreads out
blackly on the sand. The waiter brings another round, this time
without umbrellas. A thwacking through the palms.
The skinny boys are pulling in their nets.