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Switzerland by Greta Stoddardt  

What an elaborate co-production

(Italo-Franco-German), I thought,

for really such a simple tale

involving three plumbers, granted

all of different shape and size,

and a towering buxom blonde in a slip.

There was nothing else to do.

The flat was luxury, done out in white

From top to bottom except the wall

-to-wall 3-inch pile which was cream.

You could see Lake Geneva,

Still as a mirror outside the window.

Dressed in overalls and big boots,

Two of them have stockings over their heads

But the little one’s in charge so it’s him who gets

to peek through the spy-hole at her,

pink feather duster in hand, bending

over the sofa, her frilly arse.

I get up as late as possible.

There’s milky coffee and a Herald Tribune

gets delivered. There’s a long shower

and me wrapped up in soft, white towels.

There’s a lover somewhere across two borders

Up to his knees in a dirty war.

The doorbell rings and she turns round.

Then she’s up against the fridge,

her big lipstick mouth — nein . . . nein . . .

The stocking heads hold her down

and there’s a close-up of the little one’s face,

a sound of ripping above the music.

There are children hanging from the trees;

he writes he won’t be home for Christmas.

I lie back on the King-size bed.

The mountains are dark on the other side.

The towel drops open, sunlight pours in;

I spit on my fingers, press rewind.

© 2000 Greta Stoddardt and Nerve Publishing