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In response to Tom de Freston’s painting – A Lover’s Discourse

Let me do that thing for you,
You know, that thing
You said you liked in bed.
Yes, with the door open.

Let me do that trick I do,
Be your little acrobat again.
Together we can spark
The room up like a circuit –

We know how to work it.
I know you remember
The cold nights in November
We scalded the walls

With our bleach-hot lust.
Oh, but you must.
Upside down, I became
Your pliant Polyphemous,

Your pet Cyclops,
A vulnerable strumpet –
Grotesque herald mid-arabesque
With a Dantean trumpet.

Hush, be still, forget
Your complicated dramas –
Here I am, your silly lamb,
Your monkey, sans pyjamas.

Come back to bed! Know
Again the body’s declaration.
I rest my weight, exiled, waiting
For you to teach me how to fall
When this game begins to pall.

Jaya Savige’s poems have won a number of national prizes in his native Australia. His first collection, latecomers (2005) was awarded the prestigious Kenneth Slessor Prize. In 2007 he was appointed Writer-in-residence at the B.R. Whiting Studio, Rome. Since 2006 he has been the Poetry Editor of the Australian Literary Review. He is currently studying for a PhD in English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge.