I chose the blonde from the chemist's, thirty-six,
Twenty-three, thirty-seven. I was Midas,
We had a lifetime's touching to get through.
The triple-jointed animals ran to our hands
To be made gold. I put her on my island
With the things saved from the wreck, the stove
We made, the palm-leaf bra, the dog
That howled outside whenever we made love.
I showed her the ribbed rubber print left
By the Master-Sergeant. I undertook the naming
Of nascent things; the empty frame of the enormous
World excited me until it became just
Like death: it stopped when I said stop,
Although we still had to take a reading
Of the sun and our goats were sore with milk.
Here they come then, my rescuers. Bang, bang,
But they don't fall down. It draws the juice
Out of your spine and you go mad. The world's
A hospital, we won't get well. I was a sieve
That held water: I rejoice I thought of you.
One day I'll sit in an eau-de-nil office
And ask Miss Palethorpe the time, then go
Down to folded white napkins, the set lunch
And my first stroke at about half past one.