I love you, he said.
They were the three most frightening words in the language.
He pulled them carefully out of their plastic wrappers.
Like nuclear weapons, they needed rigorous
and secret testing to come out right. They’d laid waste
to countless millions the hard way, he knew that,
but it was no deterrent. He set up the drinks and said,
on the house. I’m in love. It’s brilliant. ‘Deterrent’
was a word from the past, like ‘The Captain and Tennille.’
If love was that picture of Brezhnev and Honecker kissing
on the Berlin Wall, then he’d been living in the mouth
of a strange headed monster.
He kept a diary regarding this. Each new day
was a fresh line in illegible handwriting
like a series of sailor’s knots which are all coming undone
at the same point. Events came initialed, like bank notes.
The days they met, the ground slipping from under their feet.
There were pay days listed, as regular
as periods. When her period was late, he noted it.
Spring was in the air, in shafts of backlit pollution
and by Christmas there was a baby. Life was so good
they wanted to make copies. Is that a promise? she said.
The best bits of life were like the golden age
of cinema. There’s nothing you’d want to cut.

Note: The Captain and Tennille were a 70s husband and wife pop duo. Songs include Love Will Keep Us Together and Can’t Stop Dancing.