Halfway through a different life
I asked ‘What would make me better?
‘Dark would’ said the answer measling
dodgy Braille on a pill packet.
I tried to believe that I was being guided
by a Thunderbird
sent from the other side (ITV).
It felt like a crowd, not solo,
even though I saw him, just he.
I could sense the eyes of a smoker’s exile huddle,
as if they were watching me wait at a taxi rank
for the cab they wanted after stubbing Saturday out.
Lairy and animal-print pelted, the drunks
criss-crossed the Pelican towards me.
The smell of a pink-less hen night,
their nail bar glossies still lacquered intact,
maybe for me?
The sky-blue & yellow uniform of the puppet was by now
bobbing away, down the road
like a tennis ball bouncing along an empty sewer.
I looked up to the glowering sky and saw a huge black cross
twisting, not tangling,
his strings as he turned once more to face me.
I caught up with him just as he said
we are going up the ramp of a multi-storey car park you can't yet see.
Beware, once we arrive, I may have to leave you.
It is the domain of the unstable; you’ll fit right in.
The council are pulling the slipshod seventies edifice down.
Think of it as a Friday afternoon Corbusier
designed on a pack of Senior Service with a bent compass
and a Joe Coral pencil.
He encouraged me to walk with him as he extolled the virtues
of asbestos, in his wobbly jawed opinion, ‘the miracle ingredient in any roofing situation.’
There's no telling people.
And he certainly hadn't told me.
He left me in the stairwell,
His dap-dap gait unable to venture
across the jagged gash of piss and fag-butts
I treated as a threshold.
Four steps up, she was there -
as beautiful as any mother.
The rectangle of light from her phone
an illumination of her human face.
She barely seemed to notice as I watched,
then literally suddenly, she lifted her screen
to use the torch function.
‘Can you hold this for me? She said;
her phone a sudden épée.
‘Find me a fucking vein will you?
Back and forth,
the beam 20th Century Foxed her skin,
which as it happened, was as pocked and cratered
as any Miner’s paw.
‘I'll take it from here’, she said as two bitten fingers
hitched up tatty denim shorts,
‘easy does it, come to Mummy.'
As she injected into her groin.
‘Got any skins?’
I was looking at the flowers cable tied to the bannister
dead real ones and dead plastic ones.
For Katie ‘Who loved this car park’ according to the biro tribute
engraved falteringly across a letter shaped rip of cardboard.