by Wynn Wheldon

She doesn’t smoke as a rule
but takes the proffered Marlboro
and sips at an alcopop.

Because, frankly, today’s been
well, fucking awful, frankly.
And it’s just about to rain.

Almost the last thing on earth
she wants to do is model
for this geeky young Russian.

And why here for heavensake?
At Elephant and Castle?
It’s due for demolition.

She changes into the frock.
Does everything she’s told to.
Between takes tries to wrap warm.

Still she shivers, scowls, and smokes.
The light is going. He wants
one more shot. Please my darling?

So once again she pulls out
the wings of the silken skirt.
His camera is gun and sun.

One week on. He’s so happy.
Shows her that very last frame.
Breath halts in her chest.


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