No Sugar

By Matthew Sweeney

Sitting, upright, on the sofa,
sandwiched between a pair of twins,
both blond, both beautiful,
wearing the same red leather
miniskirts, the same faces,
the same green sparkling eyes,
I find myself thinking of melon,
green-fleshed, cool from the fridge,
sliced cross ways in half,
the seeds scooped out, the hole
filled with chilled Sauternes.
A cough emanating from one twin
is echoed by the other. I chuckle,
they chuckle in stereo, and outside
the streetlight comes on, a dog
howls, a car alarm starts to blare,
while in this white-carpeted room
the newly-permed mother arrives
with a silver tray, on which sit
three delicate china cups, each with
its leaf-patterned saucer, a tea pot
escaped from Shanghai, a jug
with a peacock on it and milk
of some kind inside. But no sugar,
not a single solitary grain.

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