20 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 28

A Good Thing

Too many colleagues smile at me Whom I have hardly seen,

And some who wish me little good— What the hell do they mean?

To say, 'I love you,' is like a smile, Neither false nor true.

To see exactly what I mean Watch me, see what I do.

At a drunken party months ago I shared an easy chair With this girl and unzipped her dress And laid her whole back bare

And felt the common magic That fingers feel on skin, And felt my lips on her cool lips And her little tongue come in.

One hand unclipped her bra, the other Gently cupped a breast, And then, for lack of energy, We joined the rest.

A sort of love connects us, And yet if she should die Or marry someone, or resign I wouldn't mope or cry.

Impersonal as sunshine Or whisky, or the sea, Lapping warmth around my limbs, Is what she gives to me. JAMES SIMMONS