Robert Falcon Scott invites me to lunch.
I say no,
but he tosses his epaulets up at my window in the late hours...
they catch the moonlight.
they are like flying starfish.
Am I, then, his mermaid?
Robert Falcon Scott is not really my type.
He seems full of himself,
and I don't share most people's liking for English accents.
Over the weeks,
he wears me down.
I agree to meet him at La Patisserie just this once.
I take my parasol.
I have chosen a French place just to fool with him.
He is there ahead of me, waiting like a berg.
"If I had a girlfriend who prized me,
or even pretended to,
I would be with her right now, not you," I say to him.
He tells me I am adorable,
He orders for the both of us.
His crew stands around, pretending not to eavesdrop.
"If I loved somebody,"
I confide, lulled by the afternoon sunlight through the glass,
"I would find a way.
I would dance across burning deserts on bare feet
just to drop my petticoats inside her doorway."
His crew laughs.
Robert Falcon Scott just raises an eyebrow, annoyingly.
they are unbearable.
It has grown colder.
Our white tablecloth has gone frozen and brittle.
Falcon Scott weeps diamonds from his uninteresting English eyes,
but they are not diamonds--
they are ice, and blankness, and failure.
"There is always an Amundsen," he tells me.
"No matter the gear, the teams, the will,
Someone else always gets there first."
It's late, I wish I were at home.
I might have email.
When Robert Falcon Scott leans to kiss me,
I am made ill from the strong smell of rot.
all black and ruined, are falling from his cuffs and sleeves
like cinders from an industrial chimney.
"You think you're special," he sneers, mockingly.
"The truth is, you are no better than I am, dying for an idea.
Where is this love of yours?
Is she as rare as a flame from the last match?
as the last can of beans?"
I gather my things to go.
I know when I've been made a fool of.
Then he smiles,
with a great, awful cracking sound.
His crew have left.
The wait staff stare pointedly at the pretty little clock above our heads.
I sit back down.
Robert Falcon Scott is dead,
as he knew that I would,
I cover his eyes with a napkin,
my fingers trembling against the
for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads