Jim And John


 Matthew Thorburn


Wherever I go

I go, too,

a contortionist's act

every time, and if we dance

we dance together, too

many legs, too few

arms (we've got just two

to share).

I stepped on someone's toe,

but whose? We're a couple in search

of a couple. No use whispering

to a woman, I'd love to be alone with you.

She's too busy thinking—

wondering? shuddering?—

But they must bathe together,

dress together; can't undress

him without him naked too.

Or He couldn't hug me without...

Yes, I'd have half

the hugging to do.

He'll say to her,

This is my brother, he's along

for the ride; I'll close my eyes—

as if that'd help—

for the dinner, the dance,

but what about what

comes after? Come on, shall I pretend—

to snooze? Snore a bit? Yes.

And I'll tell her, No, don't

worry, my brother's passed

out—too much to drink—it's just

you and me now, he won't hear

a thing. No, I'm sure. But we

haven't much time. Do you

know what it's like to be

with someone always and always

be lonely? Yes, I love him. No,

not like this; this... no, he—

Oh! I was sleeping, honestly—

didn't hear a thing.

Not a thing. I was dreaming—

Goodnight, then, goodnight—

of my other arm.