The Boyfriend by Samantha Renda

With a smile like milk being poured, so long,
(Too long. Dear Lord, look at all those teeth!)
He introduces himself with a peculiar flourish,
“Excuse me?” I titter nervously,
Then he repeats it and I realise it’s part of his name,
I smile back,
I must look ill-at-ease by now,
And stand guarding the doorway witlessly.

“Mother,” the word stretched out in lifting embarrassment,
(Oh God, I’m just staring now aren’t I?)
“Oh sorry, of course,” I babble like I’m the teenager,
Blue skin, a green crest with strange luminous whorls playing over it,
A shock of mauve fur at his collar that seems to crawl towards me as he passes,
And then we stand,
Silent in the living room
as my daughter slowly dies on the faded carpet.

“Aren’t you going to offer Inganax something to drink?”
A deer, caught in headlights – before hospitality auto-pilot’s my brain and I splutter:
“So sorry, yes. I mean I don’t know what to get you to drink? Beer? Gosh, no, you must be too young for beer? Do you drink tea?”
Hands wringing in desperation.

And his tongue is an electric blue flatworm, snaking over orange lips as he lisps back:
“Yeth, thank you. Thome tea would be lothely.”

In the kitchen, I clank nervously through the ritual
as my daughter comes in,
Every movement of her sixteen year old frame awash with mortification:
“God, mother, why do you have to be so weird?”

Samantha Renda divides her time between writing poetry and researching towards her Masters degree in Zoology in the Kalahari. Much like her academic writing, she feels that most of the poetry she pens wants burning. Sometimes a good one slips through.

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