The Evidence

I need my trousers. I need to slouch 
on something soft. The room is empty 
except for a clothes-horse on its side 
and another, unclothed, saluting. 
I slide down the wall, it’s hot. The room 
is too small. Everything is white. Bottles 
of wine spill on the floor. Who did this? 
Wine pooling, but solid, like jelly. And sweat. 
Everything is sweating, the walls, my hair 
even the clothes racks are wet. Dripping 
like wild animals hot and wet and tired. 
At breakfast I sign for my chinos 
on an electronic pad. Are those flowers for me? 
she asks. We both laugh and I love the way 
and again, the way she cups her hand 
over her mouth like something wants to escape 
uncontrollably. I pull at stretchy plastic, she sips 
her coffee and taps the newspaper, a hole appears 
and I slide the trousers out, they are folded 
neatly, ironed with lavender and soap. 
I hear the door slam, the car engine, that faint 
squeal of brakes that only her car with its oscillating 
clamour, its start-up shudder, coughing and smoking, the web 
of scratches in gold paint, mustard undercoat, mustard 
interior, fermented apples, greasy paper, sweating, 
a cheese sandwich in glad-wrap, silicone, a netball 
rolling in the boot, sweating, down the street I hear a thud 
and then a roll and then the slow fish of escaping air. 


Bill Nelson won the Biggs Poetry Prize for best MA poetry portfolio at the IIML in 2009. His writing has appeared in Hue & CrySportThe Lumière ReaderBlackmail Press4th Floor and Swamp. He has also guest edited at Turbine and Blackmail Press. ‘The Evidence’ is a reponse to the work of Eddie Clemens shown at the recent Ready to Roll exhibition at City Gallery. Another response to the same work can be found in The Sparks Fly Upwards.