‘Dates with the Fates’ – a short sequence by Andew Neilson

 
 
 

    Dates with the Fates

 
 

i) Clotho
 
Her last date? Some chump called Pelops.
She gave him the cold shoulder.
With her men, she likes them older
and she dines on them like scallops.

You can see why I’d be nervous.
I asked to try the Sauvignon
while she fiddled with her napkin.
The shit she says about Alcestis!

We were doing that thing on work.
Her line, she explained, was in lines.
And now star upon star aligns…
Behold the spinning of an arc

taking us from the restaurant
to the backseat of a taxi –
the canoodle – you want coffee? –
to the want, the want, the want –

but then all of this will vanish.
Was it something I said?
Oh no, she texts me in bed,
what I start, I never finish. 
 
 

ii) Lachesis
 
Mostly she complained.
Complained about being the middle sister
when your parents are Darkness and Night.  

 
 
iii) Atropos
 
We meet at a ’70s Berlin café –
there’s Bowie and Eno and Osterberg –
and I’m wondering what it is I should say,
when she flicks a bang then speaks with a surge
            (we’re all looking her way)
So typical of Generation X
to persist with the ruse of having sex.

The children are growing. The children are growing.
But here, on the corner of Hauptstraβe,
the children are dying. The children are dying.
Above us, the moon is sole amasser
            of all that is falling
in the dying fall of the urban night
this side of Lou and his satellite.

It could be worse. You could be a Millennial.
Her lovely throat convulses with a laugh.
I look up to say something trivial.
Her stare shears through like an aftermath.
            The moon’s bright aureole
shines only once on those who winnow.
When it mantles her hair. That’s how I’ll know.

 
 

Andrew Neilson

About Andrew Neilson

In recent years Andrew's poems, essays and reviews have appeared in The Poetry Review, New Writing Scotland, The Dark Horse, Stand, Magma, The Scores, Under the Radar, Scintilla, the Glasgow Review of Books and the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems 2017. In the United States he is an occasional critical contributor to The Hopkins Review. He is currently Vice Chair of The Poetry Society.