An Entry on(to) Love (I)

I remember dressing up as a bottle of Pernod and she came as ice
I remember saying if we were both sucking on lemons that made it a date
I remember she had six spare Tesco value toothbrushes in the bathroom ‘for guests’
I remember the boyfriend from Palermo calling in the middle of the night
I remember she liked her fruit salad chopped into tiny pieces
I remember how she laughed at the drawing of Eyeless with 12 eyes
I remember ‘don’t ask what my dad does’
I remember how she leapt from bed with the alarm
I remember how blue her eyes were when she was high
I remember ‘is that a perm or for real?’
I remember she asked me not to laugh when she showed me the picture of her in the tinted glasses holding her pet bunny.
(I couldn’t do it)
I remember the pumpkin pie
I remember sitting on the wall outside The Ship staring into the bend of the Thames as she told me what she’d caught
I remember when she brought home McNulty and left me to introduce him to Simon, who scared me witless hissing and clawing
(the little kitten)
I remember her wicker chair we had to bring in through the window and how we sat on it that night, feet up
(eating chips with our fingers and drinking Prosecco from the bottle)
I remember stopping her pouring the boiling kettle over herself as she repeated ‘Shalom, shalom, shalom’
I remember Roquefort and sweet cabbage rolls in the Prague gardens
I remember tasting her tears from her father’s belt
I remember her leather trousers were always loose around the knee
I remember the window of Bertorelli’s and the number 36 but I don’t remember her leaving
I remember pretending to be her sweaty car mechanic
I remember her father’s 60th and her mother smacking my bum with a flagpole, crawling through netting
I remember her throwing the house keys at me as she ran off the carriage
I remember her telling me ‘you’re destroying this in your head’
I remember her old orange portable Olivetti
I remember her doing cartwheels on Ballycastle beach too close to the cows
I remember her saying: ‘I’m ready to talk about it now’.

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