Thursday, 29 December 2011

Day Twenty Nine: 'Manchester my Winter' by John Darwin

'Manchester my Winter'

Mascara smudge and pillow shaped

by head now gone and back to home

where paying bills and being straight

and tying gifts with fingertips

that did a trick for me last night

is how it has to be;

And he won't know and she won't know

but we know where this thing will go

where rivers wide and thoughts ill-shaped

by time's raw fate

and love and hate

meet cul-de-sacs of nothing;

The scent of hair and hair on clothes

and make up flaked on last night's threads

and threads of lives and beads of sweat

we haven't seen betrayal, yet,

accelerates the fire;

From flush of youth to long time dead

twelve years in someone else's bed

you bring yourself to hold my gaze

dilation gives the game away;

your omnipresent verbal pause

accented pure Mancunian,

the tremor of your shyness;

In taxi queues at five past three

where office workers take their drink

like once-teetotal pledge-takers

methodism in their madness;

you lean right in, hips sway away

and take a cab the wrong way, south

I often dream but seldom sleep

the vacuum of your absence.

John Darwin

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