When did your skin turn so peach?
After the peach rose settee arrived?
Or before? On your wedding day?
And that woolen skirt; a prickly bush
tucking you into the rose garden
like an itchy camping blanket.
Faux smiles litter these shelves,
teeth take off like drying sheets.
Children small as peas rolled
beside the meat of your husband,
hair stiff as jelly set to the left;
three small waves in an ocean sky.
Save the boastful words, old friend.
I donít believe them.
I believe your bust in that photograph.
How it pushes into a man who grips himself.
Your face grinning into his ear,
hoping for a kiss, a cuddle?
No, I didnít marry. I ran. Many times. Shame?
The chrysanthemums donít know either,
doze in the flying duck vase they cannot see.
My mouth grows spores as I inhale.
I fear my lungs grow mushrooms.
Glass of the conservatory your husband managed to erect
surrounds me. Now, you stare, the peach roses
stare, the chrysanthemums stare.
I am your specimen in a test tube,
a certain kind of pitiful gene - a freak.
And you, old friend, have no idea
how scary your face looks, from in here.
Jacqui Corcoran is a London based poet born in Liverpool of