The Manchester Review
Rita Ann Higgins
Three Poems
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O Sole Mio

My friend was having an affair
with a married man.
They used to do it
in an old warehouse at the docks,
before the Celtic Tiger got teeth.

As she undressed
he likes to sing Mario Lanza,
and afterword’s
when she was having her fag
it was more Mario.
She always said, Bravo,
blowing smoke in his face.
They laughed.
Sometimes they did it twice
and for the big finish
he’d blast out Santa Lucia.

It ended badly
when his wife found out.
They say she gave him
a dig in the mouth at mass
knocking out his gold tooth.

Others say she took
a pinchers
to his pretty parts,
squeezing so hard
it affected his voice box.

Years later I met her in Zhivago Records,
in the aisle between the tenors
and the five- for- twenty five box sets.

I asked her how was he now.
she didn’t know, only she heard
he was spotted a few times,
walking around the new docks
his hand in the air, his mouth open,
miming like mad.