improbable romance 4

(the pleasant incident of the nurse in the night-time)

just out of intensive care
after abdominal surgery
in a tangle of drips, monitored, self-dosing with pethedine
I wake to a full bladder

the catheter’s come out of my penis
and my urine’s not draining away

I push it back in but can’t get it right
don’t want to push too hard, might hurt something
don’t
want to wet the bed either
better press the button
call a nurse

at 2.15am
an angel arrives
a slender brunette I haven’t seen before pretty
retroussé nose Greek eyes
her fragrance precedes her

I explain the problem
she smiles as she says that’s OK easy to fix in a moment don’t worry
and
bends over me

it must be the way her shoulders hunch
as she reaches into the bed

the front of her uniform
and the cups of her bra fall forward
I see her breasts
suspended there they’re warm
her nipples
stir

she gently holds me and inserts the thing
tries several times then gets it right
she slides it in and in

into a middle aged carcass
shaved and oozing
zipped up the middle with staples
flaccid
not an ideal

assignation

Is there anything else I can help you with? says the angel

I move my head slowly from side to side

and breathe out quietly

as she leaves the room