The poet addresses her lover in a twin-bedded room
Dearest, since we can do no other,
Here on the bed that fate decrees
Let us lie side by side together,
Heads and shoulders, hips and knees
Aligned along a central fissure
Like pages in a paperback;
Conjoined by heat and sticky pressure,
Divided by a constant crack.
And thus, though circumstance divide,
We lie together, if bereft,
Like vellum swelling either side
Of this, our necessary cleft.
So let us live, and let us love,
Proximity is written in
Although we may not always have
The bliss of lying skin to skin.
So let us love, and let us live
As we are simply bound to do;
Our numbers are consecutive,
Our sense and syntax follow through.
If anyone should ever look
We two will be forever found,
Pages in one another’s book;
Not stitched, my love, but perfect bound.
Ann Drysdale was born near Manchester and brought up in London. She has lived in places as disparate as a narrowboat in the Midlands and a smallholding on the North York Moors where she learned stockmanship by experiment and brought up three children as a single parent. During this time she wrote one of the longest-running by-line columns in the provincial press. Her fifth volume of poetry, Quaintness and Other Offences, recently joined a mixed list of published writing, including memoir, essays and a gonzo guidebook to the City of Newport. She now lives in the highest terrace of a mining town in South Wales.