The Birthday Girl and the Lost Boy

Trapped in here,

This head of mine

Fringed with hair –

Bad cut, don’t

Mind. Trapped in

There behind a

Card, the face on

Which we set the score. How many

Looks taken beyond

The casual glance

Can we reel in

And feel, use

For energy and

Self esteem. None

It seems, for me

Except my self,

Glancing at windows

As I pass,peering

In at the stock

Behind those

Bags, saddles

For the eyes,

Underneath.

Bearing them on,

This new day,

24th Birthday gone.

Taped up

He was

Although

His mouth

Spake

Sounds fast, on the phone.

Quick, professional

Like someone

In a hurry.

‘I’m sorry

Did you

Have a

Good

Birthday

Anyway.’

Yesterday

Behind the scenes

The sets were

Moving his

Mind’s Eye in the

The dark, no

Light back there,

They knew the routine, blind.

Get up, eat,drink.

Play football,

Score, eat, drink

Water then something

Stronger, stronger

Stronger till the

Drum stretched tight

To numb the eyes

With a dull thick

Beat bump heat

Bump heat bump,

Drunk.

Go out, get up

Get up go out

Out out to the

Girl he lost somehow,

Carelessly.

On on on

To the pub’s

Strong arms,

Blue awning, benches,

Tables , gables

Green with evergreen, all

Greens and blue

To him, no more

Definition, only drink. On breath,

On toes on feet,

Aged four

Again, finding a

Way, feeling the

Floor.

In he goes, head

To the bar , order

More if he can.

Drink more if he dare.

He does, the part

That’s survived the

Tide of liquor.

Awash, lone survivor,

Drenched,

Bewildered, lost.

He wades from

Bar to shore,

Where the natives

Are feasting,

Warming the

Pub’s wood

Furniture.

Do they speak

Language?

Do they understand gesture?

Will they eat

Him alive, stirred

In their Pad Thai?

They pound with

The music, these

Questions unanswered.

He sinks down

Like and animal, neither feral

Nor domestic,

Slumped, hunched,

Stooped, even while

Sitting, laid low,

Still reeling

From Exposure to the Sea’s

Blue gin.

They decide he’s

Inedible after

Little discussion,

Having glimpsed

Him and smelt him,

The liquor then the

The sick. Sea-

Sick he explains

But they can’t understand,

Hes forgets again and keeps

Talking, waving  his

Story, weaving

Yarns between mumbles,

Got hurt at football – some fool,

Something dribbled.

Out, outside,

Hurdle over, trip, the

Menu, a black-board

Trap the natives

Set. But  he

Succeeds to shelter

By the plane tree,

Native too.

Leaning there

He has a thought.

It passes like a ghost

Visiting from Before.

Come back, he thinks

With his shipwrecked brain,

Come back, come

Here, lets meet again!

Alone again, he leans,

The foreign tree bark

Wont respond his plea.

Forward, through sound

And sand. Up, down

Up, down, people

Standing,natives

Feasting still,

Chatting on, a gurgling,

Almost painful.

He makes out a figure,

A She-one, carrying water,

He sees through the glass,

He holds it, drink, heavier than

The tree to lean on, he thinks.

She proffers him a seat,

Looks more like a wall,

He accepts, no offence,

And sinks onto concrete,

Hunched,

Arms wreathing ribs,

Ape-style.

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