Magnolia Wilson

Dating Mike

It’s as much a shock to me as
it is to all my high-school friends.

It’s quite embarrassing –
how he strides up the hill in baggy jeans
and still wears a gold dollar chain round
his neck – even though he’s in his forties.

But he’s a tender lover and I’m
learning not to be so superficial.

He’s softly spoken and likes to
play-fight in bed, takes me through
jab cross jab and the correct angle, in slow
motion, for ear-biting –

like this, he says, his head drifting
down toward me from above,
mouth open and teeth like a
gleaming white cloud.

We laugh a lot in the evenings,
roll-boxing in the sheets.

And it surprises me how deeply
upset he is to catch me showering
fully clothed, with one of my

I beseech him – No Mike, no! Look! I’m fully
clothed and this guy? Who? This guy?
He’s from my poetry group!

But he’s having none of it.
He’s spent enough time languishing with a
nobody at the ass-end of the world. He’s off
back to the States, rattling his
dollar chain the whole way home.



By Magnolia Wilson

is from Fern Flat, a valley in the far north of New Zealand. She has just finished an arts residency in Salvador, Brazil funded through Unesco and the Instituto Sacatar. She is currently in the mountains of Chapada Diamantina.