Re-Printed in New York by Emma McGordon

In a hotel room in New York

we make old love new;

in a hotel room in New York

where the drapes are the colour of wet pavement

and the sheet the colour of baked mud

and the writing desk has a note saying

it is made from the reclaimed timber of ships,

we bruise each others’

bodies with kisses.

In a hotel room in New York I hear the

sound of my palm against your skin

in a hotel room in New York I make you sing

I give you a love so big it breaks

you into pools like mercury molecules

that I slide back together to make one skin.

In a hotel room in New York

I pull you in you push me in,

in a hotel room in New York you Mr Darcy me

in a hotel room in New York we make a love

that hurts us both.

In a hotel room in New York

I forget my breathing

for seconds long care not for air

that exists from air conditioner vents inside this room

but then suck it in and gasp it out in spasmodic movements

that make spit and sweat indistinguishable.

In hotel room in New York I order us eggs-over-easy,

coffee, orange juice and bagels with three different types of jam

I lay next to you on my side dribble egg down my chin.

In a hotel room in New York I stand naked in front of a full length window

and press my hot breasts to the cold glass and spread my arms

and press my hot palms to the cold glass

and face to the glass

and my breath on the glass

and feel………….full

of great expectation of what a beautiful ! bright ! Autumn day it is

where people are buying newspapers and catching the subway to work

and checking their cell-phones for texts that say what time their business meeting is

where, in the park, across the street, a boy is roller-blading and a woman feeding

pigeons with her twin daughters and all three are wearing the same red hats

and a dirty billboard advertises vitamin water and through the window’s glazing

I can hear only the faint sound of the cars and their horns and their stop start noises

and imagine their smell of exhaust,

what a beautiful and bright Autumn day it is.

In a hotel room in New York I turn to face you, who is still-in-bed-after-sex-naked

and who has been watching me.

Still-in-bed-after-sex-naked is different from any other kind of

naked, still-in-bed-after-sex-naked is never fully naked because there will always

be a sheet covering some part of your lover’s body even if it is just their ankle

or coiling between thigh and thigh,

your head resting on your hand and smile at me who is fully naked now

pressing my hot buttocks

against the cold glass

feeling the egg in my belly.

I smile and scan the room

to see how a room looks after two people

have spent their second night in New York

and for the first time have made old love new.

I see the scattered books on the writing

desk that I bought yesterday afternoon from a second hand stall,

books that you think you should buy when

in New York by poets whose name is a synonym

who I will not list here because if you know the poets

who are synonymous with New York

you can hear them already

and if you don’t

it means you have

not yet known them and it would

just be a list of names like a roll-call

of what could be men at bus-stops

waiting for a bus that will take them to a dirty work

where they will sweat and wipe their foreheads with cloth caps that have the names of

baseball teams

and have rough hands and little corners of their nails will be broken off

and their wives will know tobacco through their mouths

and their pay checks will always be accounted for

and there will be no romance of uneducated men

who know the names of plants and the smell of seasons

because these men will be hard and only hard

these men will be tough and only tough

when they hit nails with mallet hammers

they will look up and think one day this will be a hotel

where people will wake-up to New York and feel they are somehow

connected to musicians, writers, artists, poets just because they woke

beneath the same piece of sky

but they will not think they are connected in any way to the man who

blackened his thumb nail with a mallet hammer whilst laying foundations

for stone, his name is not synonymous with New York and so will not appear

in print on a writing desk in a hotel room in New York.

And by the books by the poets I see on the writing desk I see

the print you bought yesterday in an Art Shop that smelt of acrylic

that reminded us both of Jackson Pollock but it is not Jackson Pollock

it just reminds us of a Jackson Pollock, it is by somebody who is young

and has no name, it is not a Jackson Pollock, but it is

like a Jackson Pollock, Jackson Pollock Jackson Pollock Jackson Pollock

the artist is young and unknown and they are not called Jackson Pollock.

In a hotel room in New York I walk from the window to the

bed where you have covered yourself further with the sheet

because we are past the time of still-in-bed-after-sex-naked, now you

are just in bed and I climb back in with you

and the sheet smells of brine and there are bagel crumbs and your

body is warm and mine grown cooler and the three

different types of jam on the knife have become a fourth

and we find where our curves converse,

lay back down and stare toward the window

to the beautiful and bright and autumn sky

full of great expectation,

we see that my imprint on the glass

is of two inward facing palms spread arms length

two inward facing breasts

and two outward buttocks.

There is a woman facing in

and a woman facing out.

In a hotel room in New York

there is a woman facing in and a woman facing out

there is a woman facing in and a woman facing out

there is a woman facing in and a woman facing out

and together they make old love new.


Emma McGordon was born in West Cumbria. She has been listed by The Times online as one of ‘12 Writers to Watch’ and is the recipient of the Northern Young Writer of the Year award. Emma lived at Shakespeare and Company as a Tumbleweed for just over two months in winter 2011.