She called me Jack

I was her downtime loving man

one of my ever married women

would call on me evening time

you guys can judge if you want

when that door closed

I knew what was mine

they told stories of love gone wrong

long evenings

stretching lonely

make them want to lose their minds

she called me jack most nights

we’d be going at it until we broke the line

I was easy then

take whatever came along

easy on my pocket

easy on my time

pickings are easy

if you don’t mind

your side of the bed

never growing cold

Christmas & holidays by yourself

your lover going home

to others

being that downtime only

loving man

lively evening times

others on the shelf

it gets old they go on to others

I did not mind

knew there’d be lovers

knocking my door come evening time

when love is easy

going on into the night

there’s a distance

you don’t cross

call me mr jack baby

let me learn your knock

there on the door

when you leave

there will be

another

crossing the floor

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Trying not to care

weeks I never left the room

wasn’t in drink

drugs

no tv

just lost the point

need

to go out

the shack job had once

had everything I needed

though I knew

that had come to an end

I was either sleeping

catatonic

staring at the walls

I began reading

anything I could get my hands on

soaking up words

sucking them in

back of chemical bottles in the can

breakfast boxes

looking for something

to hold on to

she wanted me out

gone

just couldn’t find

her words to say

i’d ceased being useful

to her

in my trying to find some pattern

did not want me there

my lust for her

had dissipated

some time ago

the lie we had worn thin

this was a clinging

nobody wanted

a friend called

while she was seeing a friend

c’mon man lets get you out

of here

left a note

thank you for everything

i’m gone

& like that

a few pale words

on a slight bit of card

&

the spell was broken

Something about rabbits

deep asleep in a post coital

post drinking

post dancing

night out

dreaming of green fields

& something about a rabbit

wanting to tell me about….

shaken awake

its my husband!

wha’?

his car!

what?

my husband just pulled up outside!

y’got to go, quick

half asleep

head full of haze

she was throwing clothes at me

shoes

I bundle them under my arm

how do I get out?

bathroom she hissed

pointing

I open the window

look out

throw shoes

clothes

reach out for the drainpipe

shimmy twenty feet

in the dark

search for shoes

clothes

jog away

bundle under my arm

head slowly clearing

jogging in the dark

to a park bench

slowly getting dressed

find cigarettes

spark one

husband?

who?

hang on

she’d told me

she was a teacher

divorcee

looking for a steady man

& here I was

jogging in the dark

stopping to catch breath

laughing

as the penny dropped

there was no husband

she just wanted me gone

maybe lain awake

in a poor post coital funk

lying next to dead asleep

me

snoring

sweating

smelly

farting

me

did not want

the difficult morning

wake up conversation

I walked on home

through the quiet streets

smiling to the world

& for me

all decisions had been taken

out of my hands

prithee?

I could feel her creeping up on me

her thoughts radiating

slivers of knives

in the hot air

her eyes steady

bright as an eagle on prey

I was not ready to fight

but ready to defend

threw a casual swirl to protect

& stepped into a circle of calm

I know you she smiled

though my third ear heard

this as a hiss

madam

you have the advantage

I replied

how can I be of help?

oh I want nothing

from

to do

with you

she lied

then

I must bid you adieu

her eyes still on my throat

I made moves to go

wait she cried

is it true

you are the kind of man

that flees a woman

with a quest?

If you want nothing

to do

from me

then

all I can offer is direction

go this

go that

your roads must differ from mine

& with that stepped toward

on to the path of truth

where I knew

she could not follow

beware these demons

harpies of painted nails

lips of ruby red

hearts of whip cruel

heads filled with cold vengeance

unearned

but needing home

they will rip any man

not acquainted

with protection

on the path

of truth

I was not

bound

for hell

today

Gaslighting

easy conversation

we were talking

& you asked a deeply personal question

& I responded straight as I could

if you felt need to ask

you deserved honest response

& the talk moved on to other things

while my heart beat on in my chest

where had that come from?

were there more to follow?

but no

you continued

as if

the need to ask had never occurred

we met again some weeks later

easy as I could

I referred to your need to question

& you said you couldn’t recall

ever asking me that at all

but by the way

what was the answer?

I said there was no point in the answer

if you couldn’t remember

why you’d asked

if

at all

& now I’m wondering

who was fucking with who here?

Days like these

once there was a time

of bright days

beautiful brides

futures stretching away

then came the chubby babies

squealing in fonts

us squeezing into suits

to mark the day

and more lately

sombre mornings

dirges filling the air

as you

& you

go on to that mystery beyond

it seems

that this

is how we note the changes

of friendship

kinship

in our days

& years

& while we might

attend more than one

of your weddings

we will only do

one of those

for you