Prose poetry by Sharon Petts

Sex With David Attenborough

Have you noticed the way the way David Attenborough says sexual?


He just has to put those syllables together and you're in the realms of two slugs dangling from a thread of mucus beneath a branch, glutinously entwined for hours, artfully backlit so every trail of spittle and glue is captured. You’re out on the Galapagos with the slow clamber, rock on rock, of the giant tortoises, or with the tree frog beating her bodily fluids into foam, her legs like egg whisks, while the males peer over her shoulder like children waiting to add sugar to the meringue.  

He might even be saying asexual, not speaking of sex but of its absence and still it’s there in the air like spores, making you sneeze. Bacteria, apparently, swap bits of themselves with any passer-by.

The bonobos are bonking with one eye on the cameramen, a perfunctory fuck, sociable as an air kiss or handshake.  When we're not watching, they light candles, take luxuriant baths together and coil in Tantric postures for days, festooning the trees like the erotic sculptures on Indian temples.

The lust of the universe cast in stone.     

• Sharon Petts lives in Kent and is working on a novel and an MA in Creative Writing at Kent Uni. She adds “I'm very happy to find a magazine exploring this area. I'm studying with Patricia Debney on the prose poetry module at Kent and have become very excited about the prose poetry form and then very frustrated at the limited attention paid to it. So good on ya.”

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