Sex and the over Forties

It's too good for them,
they look so unattractive undressed-
let them read paperbacks!

A few things to keep in readiness-
a flensing knife, a ceiling mirror,
a cassette of The Broken Heart.

More luncheons than lust,
more meetings on Northern Line stations,
more discussions of children's careers.

A postcard from years back-
I'm twenty-one, in Italy and in love!
Wagner wrote Tristan at forty-four.

Trying it with noises and in strange positions,
trying it with the young themselves,
trying to keep it up with the Joneses!

All words and no play,
all animals fleeing a forest fire,
all Apollo's grafters running.

Back to the dream in the garden,
back to the pictures in the drawer,
back to back, tonight and every night.

Peter Porter

King Renes Honeymoon by Rossetti

Back to The Art of Love

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