the lover, always

sometimes a man wants
to come home to an empty house:
there’s no dignity in feeling needy
in front of others
to want to feel / be
the hardness of a man
i’m a happy drunk but only when i’m alone
so the house is empty / my strawberries are growing
by the bed but the mice might eat ‘em
while i sleep someone could do that to my heart
you are what you eat and this is the worst part
about being vegetarian:
i could be eaten over the sink over hands cupped
for juice that is discreetly and primly washed off
i couldn’t be the calf’s heart fit for a king’s table
rather than a pit to be severed / scooped /
tossed into a swing-top bin
the truth is sweetness makes my stomach roll
acid roiling and it always feels like rot on the tongue:
soft mulch flaccid skin
there is something to be said about the shameless
way meat bleeds. i just want to strip someone back with my teeth
and then sleep easy like a man



Adriano Noble is a poet from the West Midlands. He is currently doing a degree of no apparent use. He is the editor of Durham University’s The Gentian, and has works upcoming in The Hellebore and The Hungry Ghost Project.