Chocolates and cigarettes?
Julie says

as you sit in a chair
opposite her

in the rest room
of the hospital

in the psychiatric ward
I thought you’d prefer them

to flowers
you reply

she says

flowers tend to lie
heavy in my gut

and she smiles
and you look at her there

with her dark hair
long but dishevelled

I haven’t brushed my hair
or bathed yet

she says
seeing you look at her

but you can scrub my back
if you want

she says
watching you blush

best not
you say looking away

seeing out the window
a small garden

with summer flowers
but sensing

a slight movement
in your groin

at the mere thought
of her suggestion

how did you find me?
she asks

of all the hospitals
and all the wards

in this area
you managed to walk

into mine
she adds

you make me sound
like Bogart to Bacall

you say shyly
how about a drink later

down the road to the bar?
she says

You’re permitted to drink
while on drugs?

you ask
studying her eyes

and her lips slightly parted
only cola

she says pulling a face
but at least it gets me

out of this place
for an hour or so

you look at her
a small stirring

still taking place
between your thighs

there’s a small room
where they keep brooms

and brushes and such
where we can go

for a quickie
she says

looking at you

then breaking
into a laugh

at the sight
of your shocked face

some other time
you say

some other place

she asks
opening up

the pack you’d brought
you nod

and she hands you one
between her slim fingers

and you place it
between your lips

and she lights it
with a small red

plastic lighter
and you heave in

and feel the smoke
hit the back

of your throat
she inhales deep

and says
I prefer the ones

that make me float
and you see hollowness

open up in her
and her eyes

become wide open spaces
like cold winter skies.


Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

  • Artist
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