Where I come from, we talk to our women.
We do not drug them with plants.
On a hill, tearing pink melon, crudely
split by an angled penknife,
clumps of seeded mulch, and juice,
all sticky, tipped into your singing mouths or lapped
from hollow palms flecked with the dapple-foam of spit,
you and your friends, in playful feast,
re-enact an early scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Kevin Costner’s
greatest film, I’d say.
Then me, in another city,
and my then life
unknown to you, leaving
a school-bus a stop early just
to buy the video, seen twice by then at the Sutton Odeon, saran-wrapped
and stickered, stacked in a cut-out of Costner by the counter, the day it
was first released,
at Erdington High Street Blockbuster’s;
absurdly, it was more than fifteen pounds I paid.
Now, I’m well aware this is something slight.
Yet it was important for one moment when we met
that we both could quote from it.
And though not the only thing we had, of course,
worth noting still; since
love seeps more from this than chivalry.