On retiring to bed with a cold

When her,
she says,
tomato soup,
Heinz, red, warm, white bowl,
round not long spoon,
bread triangles, toasted, slightly,
butter spread to be seen, not melted,
tray, pink not white, wood not plastic,
bottled water, not tap and in the nice glass,
fluff the pillow, straighten the duvet,
do you love me?

When him,
he says,
let me sleep.

Published in Gold Dust

…but I never smoked?

The screen PDF is of cheap paper
with the grey tired print of a duplicate
made relevant by a name written in a space.

Once, this would have been dictated
by a consultant smoking a pipe, tamping
tobacco down and relighting between words.

The secretary scribbling, worried about
frozen dinners and having to explain
shop meals to a man who worked.

Linen paper with embossed type landing
on the mat in a sealed frankedĀ envelope
for a weighing of consequences.

Now a button is pressed on the way
to making tea and it arrives with a ping
in the list of discount opportunities.

Published in Gold Dust