I remember now the lady
Behind the desk
Who picked up a pen
with the pads of her fingers
to use as a missile
to launch at the dialpad
Of her phone.
This was done to protect the sharp points
Of her tapered fingernails
True red, true shiny
More explicit then any other
totem of intent –
Be it sports car or thong bikini.
Those nails were weaponised feathers,
The pencil there to shield your beauty with a DIY defence.
And for me, aged 7
Carrying always the linger of pee.
This was when I understood what it was to be impressed.