In that country, the men are kept in camps,
behind discreetly landscaped safety towers and fences.
Groups of women come in their Audis at the weekends,
strolling among the deckchairs and swimming pools
as if selecting kittens from the pet shop.
The men look surprisingly happy, idling away their days
in the gym, or else in the computer lounge, absorbed in porn
or watching endless cake-making videos. In the afternoons,
they admire each other in the full length mirrors,
their muscles glistening in the Mediterranean light.
Though many are obviously homosexual, they are always
keen for the odd weekend away, and the women reward them
for the services they render with chocolate, or even
a tot of vegetarian rosé. Visitors notice
how the men are invariably healthy and young, not surprising
since it is universally acknowledged that the quality of male
semen declines after the age of forty. The older men
fall prey to mysterious diseases and indeed their memorials
can be seen in neat rows on the outskirts of the camps.
Returning on a Sunday afternoon, the girls are heard to murmur
that they ‘really fancied that david283’, sighing that ‘it almost
broke my heart to drive him home again!’ But they soon learn
to deal with these understandable twinges of emotion.
Everyone agrees – the way things are done in their country
makes for a safer, better and happier world.
I have had 80 poems published in various magazines such as Interpreter’s House and South. I am former Chairman of Cheltenham Poetry Society, and currently run Poetry Cafe Refreshed with Sharon Larkin. I have also written five non-fiction books, published by Weidenfeld (& Rizzoli USA), reprinted The History Press, J.M.Dent, B. T. Batsford & Timber Press USA.