Paula Cunningham


     Bring the muse into the kitchen
                    —Walt Whitman


A man is squeezing oranges in my kitchen.
I am down the corridor in bed
and he is squeezing oranges
in my kitchen.
From where I lie
I cannot see the man
but I’ve deduced
that he
is squeezing oranges.

There is something tremendously erotic
about a man
squeezing oranges.
What is erotic is the sound.
This man
has found my orange squeezer
without my prompting.
He does not know I know
he’s squeezing oranges.

Lying here, listening
to the sound of a man
secretly squeezing oranges
at 1.09 of a Sunday afternoon,
I am struck by the fact
that I’ve never heard any sound
quite so erotic
as the sound of a man
squeezing oranges.



“Aubade” is from  Heimlich’s Manoeuvre (Smith Doorstop Books, 2013)