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Incident in a Filing Cupboard

Incident in a Filing Cupboard Poem By Roddy Lumsden

Thank you, she says, we both needed that,
as if an intimacy had just occurred between us.
Old so-and-so really blew his top today, I say.
It was always going to happen, she replies.
Unless I’ve blacked out for a moment or two,
nothing has changed, although I am aware
of an oil-film on my lips, as if I have woken
in the arms of someone entirely unknown.
The female thigh begins a steady atrophy
from the late twenties. These things happen.
Male muscle tissue slackens and weakens
from 23. I always have trouble with figures.
It’s difficult, with both of us seeing people.
One in seven of us doesn’t have the father
we think we have. Only 9% of what we say
is understood in exactly the way we mean it.
Where do we go from here? That question!
I offer her a sheaf of processed application forms
like a bouquet. All these numbers, I say, as if
the intimacy between us had never taken place.

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