Poem 126 ± October 8, 2015

Gregory Woods
My Lover Loves

My lover loves me with kid gloves.
That is, no matter who’s above
And who beneath
We use a sheath—
We never screw without a Condom.

He holds me in such high regard
He shields me like a bodyguard.
Although love’s dart
Has hit my heart,
He fired it safely in a Condom.

Security is what we crave
To save us from an early grave,
Our greatest wealth
Each other’s health,
Safely invested in a Condom.

Whenever he comes home from work
He brings me bribes, inducements, perks;
But of his gifts
The one that lifts
My spirit most’s a pack of Condoms.

Although his clothes are always fine
(Comme des Garçons and Calvin Klein)
He looks his best
When he’s undressed—
Yet even better in a Condom.

Among the catalogue of skills
Which generate our thrills and spills,
His special knack
Is to unpack,
Unroll, and lubricate a Condom.

Without the taste for being chaste,
We use a lube that’s water-based
And take great care
Never to tear
The tender membrane of our Condom.

As long as he takes care of me
I am not scared of HIV.
My lover loves
Me with kid gloves
But loves me most of all with Condoms.

Gregory WoodsGregory Woods is the author of We Have the Melon (Carcanet Press, 1992), May I Say Nothing (Carcanet Press, 1998), The District Commissioner’s Dreams (Carcanet Press, 2002), Quidnunc (Carcanet Press, 2007), An Ordinary Dog (Carcanet Press, 2011), and Very Soon I Shall Know (Shoestring Press, 2012). Gregory was born in Cairo in 1953 and spent his early years in Ghana. He came to Britain in 1962 and studied at the University of East Anglia. He has taught in Italy, London, and Nottingham.

This poem appeared in May I Say Nothing.