The Most Beautiful Woman in the History of Lawn Tennis

At night we reinvent ourselves as moths
that can’t remember, if they ever knew,

how to be alive or who they are
or where there is to crawl to except hair,

that think they know what Love is
but they don’t,

no-one does, it is unknowable,
along with everything else, including me;

including things in zoos that can’t be bred from
or even kept alive, that bite their keepers;

including tongues, and the gift of tongues,
and bedding that’s not wet and doesn’t move;

including the ex-dancer you’re convinced
is the most beautiful woman in the history of lawn tennis.


from People Who Like Meatballs (Bloodaxe, 2012), © Selima Hill 2012, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Selima Hill

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1Introduction

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2Why I Left You

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3Please Can I Have a Man

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4Your Girlfriend's Thigh

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5Her Little Turquoise Scarf

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6Her Little Turquoise Dress

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7Her Little Turquoise Breasts

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8A Day in the Life of Your Suitcase

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9I Know I Ought to Love You

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10The World's Entire Wasp Population

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11The Man Who Looks for Waterfalls

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12When He Follows Me into the Café Looking Nervous

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13The Waterfall Man

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14I Will Be Arriving Next Thursday in My Wedding Dress

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15Fun

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16Tulips

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17Vaseline

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18Moon

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19Stars

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20Songbirds

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21Budgie

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22Galloping Alopecia

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23The Room

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24The Angel with Large Hands

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25Sky

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26Portrait of My Lover as a Distant Mountain

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27Portrait of My Lover as a Doll

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28Portrait of My Lover as a Dress

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29Portrait of My Lover as a Flower Arrangement

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30Portrait of My Lover as a Glass of Water

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31Portrait of My Lover as a Goose

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32Portrait of My Lover as a Holy Mother

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33Portrait of My Lover as a Hook

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34Portrait of My Lover's Mouth

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35Portrait of My Lover as a Pearl

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36Portrait of My Lover as a Tutu

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37Portrait of My Lover as a Spoon

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38I Couldn't Stand the Smell of the Pinks

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39Modest Acts of Extreme Slowness

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40Sixteen Reasons for Being a Nun

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41Snow-white Katarinas

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42The Elephant Whose Sturgeon-like Blood

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43Nasty Little Moments on Park Benches

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44Everything He Touches Turns to Gold

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45The Most Beautiful Woman in the History of Lawn Tennis

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46Living, Breathing Lumbar Rolls and Wedges

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47Flank-Sucker

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48Lily Bulbs

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49Midnight

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50Never Trust a Man Without an Elephant

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51Never Be Alone in a Heatwave

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52The Quality of My Adoration

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53God Bless Lower Alcohol Pina Colada

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