The first time, Drew told himself, it was
an accident; the second out of curiosity.
But now he had no more excuses, lying
naked on her bed surrounded by masks
he couldn’t recognize, while she brewed
coffee in her kitchen. “I’ve made it black,”
she said, “with just a hint of honey,”
and placed the cup on the night table,
littered with the shells of condoms
and unopened packet of Viagra
that he never needed with her.
Drew sipped the coffee to ease the ache
in his throat and watched the steam
disappear like the oath he’d made
in his mother’s presence to forsake
all others. But when she whispered through
the ropes of hair that covered her face,
squeezed the breath out of his chest, it was more
than her breasts, ordinary as his wife’s,
that called to him—beyond the promise of her flesh.
Geoffrey Philp has written five books of poetry, two novels, two collections of short stories, and three children’s books.Born in Jamaica, his work is represented in nearly every anthology of Caribbean literature, and he is one of the few writers whose work has been published in the Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories and Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. Philp lives in Miami and his work is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy Hotel in an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami culture.