Andrew McMillan

you lean over   show me the video
of a man drinking a pint glass of sweat
he’s squeezed from his mate’s top after sparring
the water cloudy like used bathwater
and for the rest of the day I wonder
what the taste would be   perhaps like being lost
at sea  taking mouthful after mouthful
of the salty tide   or maybe the same
as kissing tears from an old friend’s face
to comfort them      like any act of love
it is vulgar   someone soaked with effort
peeling off their top   like a second skin
and someone taking it and wringing it
as though they mean to throttle it   and then
swallowing the spoils in one go      I ask
if you would ever do it   you say
you’d never back down from a dare
Andrew McMillan is the author of three collections of poetry (Physical, Playtime, and Pandemonium) all from Jonathan Cape. A novel, Pity, is forthcoming. He is Professor of Contemporary Writing at Manchester Writing School and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

View David Joel Kitcher’s selected works.

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