We all need to someone to watch our back,

says the man on TV. Yours

hunches at the wheel

as we sail through vineyards dense


with straining vines. Our cases bulge and scrape

as we lift them from the boot. You’ve drawn

the short straw – the orange one

with a dodgy wheel, a missing handle.


You exhale stiffly. Airborne,

you stretch across an empty seat;

I stroke you, neck to coccyx.

The taxi driver has a back sprain


so we haul our cases in, and out:

25 kilos each, according to the airport scales.

Your body’s silky as I spoon you

in a Travelodge, your spine


between my breasts, against my belly,

encased between our bodies like a silver chain

between two squares of cotton.

I can’t sleep. I turn; you spoon me.


Somewhere, our taxi driver’s pulling up,

someone’s saying, No, really, not a problem,

as they reach in for their luggage,

steadying themselves.