Howard Firkin
The quality of water: sleek. Your skin
is poured around your body, smooth as oil,
the flow of air around an aerofoil,
a seal in water, notes as you begin
a gentle scat with bass and clarinet,
a cat before the fireplace: you’re sleek,
a silky dress that licks around your hips,
the caramel of glance, the syruped lips
that sculpt your breath to shape the words you speak;
you’re smooth as flame, you’re soft, you’re warm, you’re wet.

A muscled movement glimpsed through undergrowth;
a liquid curve, the sway, the swerves, the turns;
the something learnt by each that’s known to both:
you’re sleek: your body is like oil: it burns.