She sits in her smart new bungalow,
feet buried in the thick pile rug,
everywhere spic and span, polished
and hoovered, neat as a hospital bed.
She’s watching make-overs on TV,
looking out at her trim green lawn,
yawning with unsatisfied desire.
Her nails are varnished blood red,
black suspenders hang from the bedpost.
He’ll come in at six as he always does,
unzipping as he shuts the door.
What does he, or she, do this for?
She’d rather have worked for him,
had an address, a telephone number to share.
She’d no idea he’d want no books,
go prowling jealously round the house,
throw out CDs, notebooks, mobile phones,
that e-mails would be vetted,
friendships denied in secrecy’s name,
that she’d get tired of shopping,
that twenty minutes once a week
could get to be far too long,
that hatred can build up slowly
like desire, and like desire,
require a climax, as a target
is required by a loaded gun.
This poem refers to the homage to Andrei Chekhov.