file0001728790871
Type
Poetry

Making Love (to a man)

Didn’t think I’d hear from that man again, but then there was a message in my inbox. Within five hours we were in his bedroom. His hair is not computer hair, it’s straight and black: turntable hair, old school, calligraphy brush hair. He’s three-dimensional: changes as I move around him, first on my feet, then on my knees. I’m on my knees — he’s on his back. The bed’s hard but I don’t say anything. Talk only leads to more talk, well it shears off the strangeness, which has crept back since last time.

It’s Melbourne so we still haven’t completely undressed. Then as if signalled, we both shuck our jeans. I could be the 400th man in his bed. This feeling is a bottomless one: I hold the back of his head; he shrugs. As if shrugging’s a joke. Like he could embody ‘jerk’ right now in some clever way, and I’d still know it was a joke. From his shaking skin. From his eyes … of a minor equine. I put his glasses on The Women’s Room; they begin reading avidly. The other men on my ‘husband list’ will probably never put out. This man will not say ‘give me a baby’ tonight. I put my head between his legs like it’s three courses: not greedily exactly, but carnivorously. I can fish in him, starfish him, anything at this moment.

That moment – the one where I think I can live with the consequences of anything. Like his saying ‘Psychology, n’est-ce pas?’ as if knowing I’d murder his armpit next. It’s the no faux pas zone. (One many writers desire.) His lips are unavoidable – the wrong side of the road. My heart rides back up from my stomach. I can tell the time from his blood-hum. We go into each other, then back into ourselves, physical’s only part of it. (We feel a debt to strangers, a personal expenditure. So many are never strangers.)

Every touch till now has been a relatively subtle punctuation. Exclamation marks are called for – if there’s to be more than a pause for thought tomorrow. I imagined him mumbling, ‘edit me’, and I think the textual’s worth working on … He thinks I’m a humble country boy, I’m a sex zombie reentering the world of emotion,via his postbox, or flowerhole tucked down at the ground. It’s making me want to change a law, be a father. Go the other way, be a robot. Write pop lyrics with semen on the Lower Town Hall. You’re legislating my arse to pieces, he says.

Michael Farrell's latest poetry collection is Open Sesame, published by Giramondo in 2012. He recently won ABR’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize.

More by