ISomewhere, perhaps looking out on some civic cement flowerbed, you are thinking about raw edges. The way you found yourself fastened to the wrong girl on the dancefloor, the one with the dress the colour of a raspberry Paris meringue. That’s the story of your life though – her making some fleeting remark about striped carnations, and you bearing the dreadful weight of your suit lapels against mille-feuille lace. How you could have tumbled into the sunken trench between the hummocks of her shoulderblades. It would have been like heaving yourself inside-out into a bowl. A single pinned bud wilts under mobile-disco lighting, clotted cream-coloured petals fading to limp latte-beige.
Lately it is pink. Colour of body tissue, freckled lips. Lately it hints at regret. It wears skin-coloured bodystockings and does not relax; develops forked knots and swellings. Witters on about God, made flesh. Up until now it smelled of medicine and Christmas. Now it is fragrance-free. “I’m thinking about you” it does not say, pretending to spring from tears like celestial blessings. “Not that old chestnut” is my unwanted response. In a few weeks it will be rancid with red lipstick shades. It will be the colour of lurid collar stains.