Good Manners

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Red lights start the night at 11.25pm for
smoke-lit amphetamine heads
whisky coke adrenaline, the air is wet, it drips
like rain from the collective cloud of hormonal sweat.
Long, black coated man it’s too hot to be wearing that
and I don’t like the way you sidle up to me.
Move on to a friend of a friend and win, I was just a stumbling block
on your mission to keep pushing a means to an end.
Smells like someone’s smoking reefer in the corner but there’s no one there.
We go outside to see if it’s coming through the vents,

“I’ve done more girls than all of you.
And I’m the skinniest here, what does that mean?”
None of his friends can tell him.
He’s 23 but his eyes have been punched by all the late nights
and all the laughing. I don’t think he’ll become a good man but he’s
warm in the smoking pens outside, where foundation
and drawn-on eye brows clash with the white of the outdoor lights.
The wind filled with men’s promises
and the cackles of the gargoyles of the night.

Not far from the alibi, and down the unloved stairs
her lips are slit and ready for a kiss. She’s smiling, and sticking out her chest
to compensate. She’s self-conscious of her teeth.
I watch him clock what and who’s around. What’s the time Mr Wolf?
Think it’s hometime now. I catch him take a last look back
and feel sorry for his girlfriend as I watch him rub her back
as he watches me. It must be the bare skin because
we’ve all received that pat.
I frown. Less than I mean to because I’m half in the past.
I’m supernatural baked girlfriend,
good luck with him.

Someone spilled my drink. You, who grinds your teeth
as the whisky sinks in to my dress that was on the floor next to it.
I wouldn’t say anything but my friend thinks you should buy me another –
doubt you’ll bother. I assume you’ll never return,
so when you do, it’s in less time than I could expect;
to the time-warping abilities of someone else’s trip.
Gently pass the full glass, and leave like you too were once blown apart.
From behind I see you’re lined with silver;
like the washing machine your jaw could’ve been.
But whatever, no matter, your manners remained.


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