Poseidon on an Oban Bench

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

She scraped the chippie box off her blue jeans,
squeaked the plastic fork from the polystyrene,
dotted the sea air with vinegar and steam
and parted the batter, slid it off like frogskin.

The antiseptic smell of exposed, white, hot fish
was everywhere along the pier. Haircuts began to itch
as the scents lifted. My neck went greasy and stiff
and she smiled cleanly, nodded past my face:

a seagull trod air behind my shoulder, impatient
with a slate-hard, orange, downturned bill waiting
for its moment. I was close to its eye.
I almost kissed the bird in fight or flight but then
with a sharp splash and a salt mist the girl was gone.

Advertisements

Brush

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

He stood rangy, stretched,
fur lining climbing from suede sleeves –
pale, rained clean.
He tilted his long head.

I’d been with better-looking guys,
he’d been with prettier-looking voles,
but this is to certify
that what I did with him was presentable.

The badger-man dug us up a jug, no cups
and an abandoned shed
and we did enough
to get four posts up.
We drew moonshine after dark and I drank
from his hairy back.

Pasties

by Chris Buchanan
Flash fiction, 2015

She told me they were called pasties. Paste-ies. I’d been pronouncing it wrong.

It made me think of paste in my mouth. I couldn’t kiss her. I made up some excuse.

I say ‘some excuse’.

I actually remember the excuse perfectly. And the way she laughed, and put her hands on her hips like a mom in a sitcom, and how her mouth went from a soft, red, firm jello Betty Boop hillock to a big, creased, open hangar. Not who I’d wanted her to be.

I’ll never be able to forget what I’d said to cause it, or how I saw her jaw loosening. Or that feeling of helplessness. Trying to think of a way to stop it all. Next time I saw her she was brushing her teeth.

Yin Yang Man

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2014

Peering, I hold her like an alien,
trying to do that two become one, reunited
and it feels so good, perfect circle
made of cushioned angles kind of thing
in the dark.

A foreign nipple presses my front
and my cut wire hairs raise the silent alarm,
I uncoil, tense my thighs, black out my pupils
and stiffen like Juliet and think of Trojans,
not moving

until a breeze soothes my feet-skin
and hers, presumably. Her body – her small,
not mine, not brother, not male species –
willowy, pet, pettish, baby, honeyed, celestial,
prods at me.

She gives me a look I don’t know
and we laugh and kiss, shove our half-moons
back in, redouble our impression on the bed,
cover our mismatched colours, relax,
slip
away.

Perfect

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2014

I roll to his side,
to my elbow.
He warms the space
with some breathy
moment’s compliment:
he just now noticed
my eyes, my smile,
my place in his life.
He can barely mouth it.
I laugh
like a proud mother:
not a giggle, heavier,
more assured, assuring,
kiss his lips shut.
He mumbles a grunt,
token resistance,
exhales. His palm
touches some part
of me, his chest gives,
folds in, lets a scorecard
stick out from the skin,
halogen hot and tanned,
the muscle holds it up:
a ten.
I did this right.
He’s pleased.
Very good for me.