Embracing on Escalators

Couples travelling on escalators are more likely to embrace
(whether they’re teenage lovers or old flames or just husbands and wives)
than when they’re standing on the pavement or in a park or at some other level place.

There are two reasons for this. First, escalators offer to their over-busy lives
a non-optional and prolonged pause (as long as they stand on the right),
a reminder that the hopeful traveller is happier than the traveller who arrives.

Secondly, many loving and faithful couples are of uneven height.
For them, love-making in bed, depending on the position they like best,
may not involve much facial contact, whatever its genital delight,

with one face squashed uncomfortably against the other’s heaving chest,
the other buried in a pillow, keeping going with blocked airways and sightless eyes.
(Despite these disadvantages, such couples often achieve climax, and afterwards rest.)

Even the public shows of affection which lovers of mismatched size
allow themselves on pavements or in parks or at other level places must employ
stooping and stretching movements, physical strains which compromise

the pleasure in embracing which equal-statured couples can enjoy.
But on the escalator, all is changed! For once neither low nor high,
these erstwhile awkward partners see a different girl, a different boy,

a new angel! They are the favoured ones now. Around them, north and south, fly
other pairs of carnal angels at the same unhurried pace,
each on an equal footing as mouth encounters mouth and eye meets eye.

Listen to this poem — read by the author