I’m hiding in the looped double eff of the title, sniggering,
wondering whether it alludes to something
(obviously nothing lofty like allegory
but it certainly looks lewd)
And yet, something’s not quite right –
it doesn’t work.
Pickling brings to mind vinegar at best,
at worst, sad jars of penises preserved for years
on sagging shelves.
Muffins, muffin, muff.
I work on that image –
making muff –
but soon concede that
even a longed for afternoon upstairs
with rain drumming the pavements
and the curtains drawn,
can’t actually make muff.
And so, I’m forced to leave the
smutty shadows of the effs,
and stick to this:
I wake up early to write a second draft.
You, jetlagged, (it doesn’t exist, you insist)
and creep downstairs to make muffins
which we eat for breakfast with the girls.
Later, while I struggle to make speech sound real,
you get out the stepladder and pick pears,
then drive to Tesco for juniper berries
and flood the air with vinegar
that catches in my nose and throat
before becoming something
as rare and amorous as love.
Pickled pears with true love and blue cheese.
Outside, the rain starts to pound the pavements.