It was half time. Aphrodite sashayed from the kitchen with the tartan tea tray.
Hermes looked from the soiled dinner dishes
to the paisley wall paper to the telly and emitted a long sigh of boredom.
Hurling, like most team sports, isn’t much fun when you know how it finishes.
And being gods they knew almost everything.
Zeus absently stroked the remote, his lip curling
in jaded disdain as Aphrodite placed his Twix mug in front of him.
For to make matters worse this was winter hurling,
not the tossed-salad-bowl stadiums of summer,
dressed, on some days drenched, in sizzling heat and sound
but their somehow soviet winter alter-egos: slabs of grey deserted masonry
under an oppressive, apprehensive junta of cloud.
Hermes unslumped himself suddenly in his threadbare armchair.
‘Let’s repair’, he said to his father, ‘to the Bottoms-Up slut club in Brighton,
take Saskia and Karina upstairs for a private dance.
Or how about this: let’s turn all the lights on
and off in Calcutta all at once, feast on chutneyed chapatis,
before gently molesting two Bengali princesses
in a dream each will wake from pregnant with a gold-clawed swan.
Or we could make of ourselves some glittering evanescence
and mate with nebulae, out at the galaxy’s freezing edge,
leave them as sprawled eternities of pulsing want;
planet-pregnant, pregnant with stars. Or at least can we turn the station over,
to Eastenders, Hitler’s Henchmen or Can fat teens hunt?‘
Hermes fell silent, fidgeted with a chocolate digestive,
mumbled under his breath. Aphrodite began clatteringly carting
the dinner dishes to the kitchen. Zeus looked into the ripples
in his dark brown tea. ‘Hush’, he said, ‘the second half’s starting’.