Put your name to a failing business –
and we are in a car taking straights at speed,
tyres churning the roadside undergrowth,
my neck pinched by an elasticated tie.
Paraded before reluctant clients: Pay me!
But there were times we went for a curry.
Each meal, I stuck to the staple:
tandoori chicken and lemon sorbet,
the sizzling meat arriving from the oven
with its charcoal elbows wrapped in foil.
I worked flesh from the bone with a knife,
slurped up the shredded lettuce;
squeezed pips across the meat with a press.
My mother ordered stuffed paratha,
licensed by its ability to be shared.
The fruit came scalped like a hardboiled egg
and filled to its thin flipped hinge.
I couldn’t comprehend the citrus –
a lemon tree shaken
by a youth in Porto, flesh almost sweet.
We wet ourselves with flannels.
Bedded down afterwards, our closed eyes
scrolled the hallways; like options
steered towards the blinded windows.
About the author
Matt Bryden is an EFL teacher & his poetry is widely published in the UK with his first collection Boxing the Compass launched at Keats House in 2013.
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