We are not all able to do all things Virgil, Eclogues viii
Lend me your quickstep twinkle, your Highland Schottische
and I’ll lend you the flex of my knees, my steady toes, my hop
for your shuffle, your ballet fingers for my bitten thumbs.
For your stockpot skim, take the taste on my tongue – it’s
all yours – and I’ll give you a go with the bite of my teeth,
my jaws for your chomp on a liquorice log and a whole tray
of nut brittle – I’ll give you the hammer, throw in the brass dog
for the walnuts. If you lend me your marzipan basket of flowers,
the weave and flow of your piping-bag nozzle, your spatula’s lick
and the last scrape of your caterer’s bowl, I’ll bring you an unshaken
bottle of Jersey gold-top and a stiff drink in a straight glass, pink
elephant ice for a triple, nudged out from the blind eye of the optic.
Lend me your strong crop, its pepper-and-salt, and I’ll lend you
my pump-water mouse, my pale cheek for your cock-a-snook. Give me
your tall larder of tales, the false and the true and the half-way there:
I’ll give them the cut of my jib, my threading eye for your invisible darn.