[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ush against the front door until it bursts open.
A packhorse covered in tote bags and overpriced greens.
Wagging tail escorts me down the hallway.
Switch on the radio: Vivaldi.
Shrink-wrapped chook tossed into the sink.
Text from a friend: don’t sell him the whole shop.
Make up the bed with fresh linen.
Arrange the flowers like Mrs Dalloway.
Trim. Douche. Moisturise.
Light unscented candles.
Slather duck fat over the chook.
Scan your timeline and prepare my talking points.
Ignore your open mouth when you chew.
Ignore the way the Shiraz stains your teeth blue.
Ignore the fact you may not find me attractive.
We fuck and you’re too rough.
Wipe it away with tissue paper.
You agree to move in.
You start missing payments and stop putting dirty clothes in the washing basket where you know they belong because I’ve told you that’s where they belong.
But you stand in the doorway with that grin.
And everything resets.
You say I’m not pro-active enough.
You say equality has to be won.
I dish up more pork and promise to come next time.
You question my allegiance when I don’t retweet your rally cry.
In bed I bite the pillow so hard I think my teeth will shatter.
You grab my love handles again and I die a little on the inside.
Checkout man checking me out again.
Strong arms. Kind eyes. Big thighs.
Swipe the corn beef and exit stage left.
Another dinner party. Another twenty minutes in front of the wardrobe convinced I have nothing to wear and if I do find something, convinced that I’m too fat to wear it.
Expired conversations that go nowhere.
But you put your arm around me – and it is everything.
At the rally we march; a sea of rainbow preaching to the converted.
This is how we fight! you spray over me.
I hold your placard and think about dinner.
Drunken breeder calls us poofters on King Street.
I pretend not to hear it.
But you chase him down and we end up in casualty.
I clean your wounds and soothe your anger with warm strokes of the flannel.
You want to know why I don’t fight back.
Legislation is passed on the same day we visit the shrink for the first time.
You switch shitty jobs and seem genuinely happy.
I walk into a glossy store and exchange my savings for an engagement ring.
You compliment my chicken, and I feel like we might just make it.
The front door bursts open.
The turkey is flung into the sink.
The dog looks confused.
I rush into the bedroom.
There are no clothes on the floor.
Only empty shelves.