My big sister rings to say she is riding around
on the back of Richard’s motorbike and would I like to meet for a drink.
Richard is a married man. My sister is gay and I am always
dropping this in to conversation.

She has a helmet under her arm
and a lemonade with mint.
I sometimes ask my sister
if she has dismantled the patriarchal hegemony yet,
which is a joke. Her ex-girlfriend used to say
that every bar should have a women-only space,
just like you have non-smoking.

We’re talking about marathon training.
The pub is beneath a brick railway bridge. The light
is greenish and you can feel the invisible trains.
Out front, they’re selling oysters on a school desk.
My sister says, How about it?
When we were young, we used to fight.
She chipped my tooth with a door stop.
I will eat anything.

The oysters smell of tin foil.
They are still alive.

My sister thinks I should chew a few times;
Richard says I should swallow it whole.
The creature is in my mouth

and now I must decide.