& those little bombs

nothing to be said

holding the feeling

of my body wrecked inside

visceral real

pain down to my soul

you were leaving

another one gone

again

to start over

but maybe not

for a little long while

& those little bombs

you leave behind

under the bed

in forgotten corners

set to remind me

over again

amongst these

there was a list

lying there beside her

some points heavy underscored

a lengthy litany of my faults

things I had done wrong

done to her peace of mind

over our time together

& I was expecting some

which never came

others thrown unexpected

fleeting out of the dark

some I had no defence

those that needed none

amongst these

that I had burned a candle

meant to have been decoration

brightening up the room

left me with little to say

except an itch on the tongue

knowing humour here

would not save the day

like the candle

all was burned down

to the stub

the last

the last time we ever spoke

there in the street

she was pushing her baby along

fumbling I said hello

as the last time before that

had not been kind & I wanted to say

pleased you’ve moved on

doing better things

instead said

hope your life is ok now

she smiled I’m ok

uncomfortable on her feet

yeah me too I offered & walked on

though the truth of that exchange

is I did not leave her by the river

carried her all this way until today

but maybe now is the last time

I can let her go

all I heard…

all I heard…

lets go shopping

buy you some new threads

everything you got

is black or white or dark

& all I heard….

your words

have been getting

kinda serious down lately

don’ch’ya ever write light?

& all I heard….

you need a haircut

haven’t you shaved yet?

you’re looking sloppy

these days

& all I heard….

was

one of us

was not ok with

the other

of adults

chrome & paint long with fins

we were six or seven

& Paul’s uncle had this car

all chrome & paint long with fins

we’d push open the quarterlight

go sit in it waggling the steering wheel

making vroom vroom noises

as kids do

& the uncle would come out to us

get out of my car you little shits!

but we knew he wasn’t really angry

‘cos he’d throw coins at us to go away

the way Paul told it his uncle was married

but not to the woman who’s house the car was at

Paul was under orders to never say

where when or if he ever saw his uncle

& as a swap we got to sit in his classic car

all chrome & paint long with fins

pretend to drive

life was sweet

even if we never understood the strange rules

of adults

not that big of a fool

a little letter in the post

hi a friend gave me your address

said you might help me out

as I’m flat broke

but I can write dirty stories

you tell me your interests

& I’ll write back to you

regards Felicia

so I sent her a five

no indication of interests

I’m not that big of a fool

thinking what the hell

it’s a five

lets see what she writes

a letter came back

full of what she’d do to me

with her sister & maybe a friend

all miserable flat line sordid stuff

no lust no love no light no shade

lifted straight out of a 70’s soft porn mag

I didn’t send any more cash

any hints on cleaning up her prose

suggestion in writing a better line

as

I’m not that big of a fool

some reason

dragged to an art show

some friend of hers

looking at oils pastel daubs

sipping warm white wine

when I felt a pair of eyes

locked into mine

the face was familiar

the body shape I knew

though the look on that face

told me more than

right now I wanted to

I had to dredge for memory

think back a while

she was my lover once

that I let go

for some reason to her

possibly trivial

that I couldn’t remember

right now

& for some other reason

I felt it was time

for me to blow

tinker’

oh she caught me

almost every night

& I thought I was making waves

doing what I could

make everything right

getting my grades

paying rent on time

I was aiming to be

the sensible better man

‘til Tinkerbelle caught me

threw most everything away

not that I was fighting much

a man takes fun in places

wherever he can

just to feel the let go

& I had to be the one

say I love you Tinkerbelle

but you’re the one

stopping the show

if I let you stay

you’ll drag me back to the place

where I had nothing

but pain

hasta luego mi amor

vaya con dios

becoming uncle jim

uncle jim I never saw

except as a male figure

in his car

sat outside our house

whenever aunt frances came

she of the wobbly front tooth

& disdain for us step kids

or when we visited her

the faint sounds of his radio

from another room

I never understood why

he would not grace us

with his presence

& now

I am becoming uncle jim

sat outside in the car

listening to the radio

while she visits her family

because if I go in

there will be a row a fight

unpleasant words need be said

to unpleasant people

so I sit outside

in peace in quiet

& wait patiently

ruttin’

is all that was

sure we painted it

all up & gussy

slapped labels on

called these acts

one night stands

fleeting encounters

love

make it seem pretty

fooling ourselves

each other

but in the mornin’

end of the night

it was nothin’

more than

ruttin’