little tears that come

high above the streets in Marrakesh

sipping sweet mint tea

feeling hot winds blowing in

atlas mountains the desert

& how long had it taken me

to get here?

to do nothing

but drink mint tea

& she asked if I was ok

seeing the little tears

that come

I’m fine I say

just the happiness

that comes

from being in a place

I so long

wanted to be

check your motivation

never meant

to be a bad man

but for you

I’ll give that a go

the best I can

tho’

you’ll never accept

you are anything

but a good woman

throwing your best away

on this bad man

tho’

if only you might

take a second

check your motivation

when all is just

me me me

what else

can there be?

‘member me?

she asks as she slid in

next stool along

& I’m looking

thinking no

nope I don’t

but she’s smiling

waiting

penny to drop

brain cells to kick in

last time I saw you…

she starts

yes you & me I say

at that party of…er?

did you ever marry him?

no I quit him moved on

I’m married to Dave now

you don’t know him

& while she’s talking

I’m looking

trying to square

this woman

with the girl I knew

& in there somewhere

there is a glimmer

& I wonder

but dare not ask

what tf happened?

in case she tells me

in detail

even if

they will tell you

even if

they don’t say anything direct

my best girls mother came over

my girl had done the rush tidy up

& I’d swung the vacuum around

we fed her the best we could

found a decent red wine

came time for her

to use the bathroom

she stalled at the door

there’s water all over the floor!

its ok mother just couple of spots

from us using the shower

this morning

& in she went all grumpy

left me thinking that

they will tell you

how they really feel about you

your place how you live

even if

they don’t say anything direct

check your change

running eyes closed

the words are said

handshakes made

oaths blood given

nothing but nothing

will make us riven

then the odds change

you turn for help

& they are gone

& you learn

to be wary

check your change

count your fingers

see who’s eyes are closed

they may be running

alongside of you

but their mind

their eyes are gone

we’ll have to let mine stand

I read that thing

you wrote he writes

& it wasn’t like that

you distorted things

make me look bad

ok I tell him

later over the phone

you tell it like it was

but no

he goes on telling me

what a fool I am

like the vote

had not been done

on that one

you write it I tell him

you write it like

how it was for you

& we’ll meet up

compare notes

oh fuck you!

comes the reply

so I guess

we’ll have to let mine stand

I say to the ether

as he has already gone

but what do I know

if I could tell him

everything goes away

he’s just a guy

growing up

thinking cool is what matters

when what matters most

is what you have inside

& if I could tell him

he is just one of many

with a wounded mind

everybody has something

they are hurt with

can’t let pass by

& if I could tell him

these self-destructive thoughts

are just that

passing ideas that go

ease by & by

good times will come

as will other sad times

the wise one just watches

treats them all the same

picks out the ones

he wants to fly

& if I could tell him

but what do I know

I’m just another old man

who doesn’t understand

mermaid

I never knew what brought her around

my life was shifting then

place to place in low rent shared houses

& every now & then

she would turn up stay the night & go

I’d move on

& lord knows how she found me

she’d be there

& this wasn’t love as far as I knew

just something

had caught her about me

& then

she no longer knocked on strange doors

never got in touch again

leaving me to wonder if she had returned

to her welcoming sea

to abandon her wandering man

forgive him

for being wild feckless unseeing

not being who she needed

wanted him knew him

to be

punta arenas

walking into a bar I’d not been for years

fella found my elbow steered me through the crowd

& I could tell he wanted me to be the buyer

though I hardly remembered his face

I bought us beers & a brandy chaser

how can I help you he asked all foxy sly

letting me know it was him wanted from me

I thought I’d drop by see if K was around

she used to drink here years ago

he thought for a minute

leaned back motioned the barman for more

you know she left S right?

he cried for days sent people to try & find her

you’re not one of those?

we drank some more as I tell him no

I’m here for me just an old friend saying hello

I saw him look over my shoulder

I gotta go but I think she’ll be here soon

it’d be only a few seconds later a tap on my arm

& I turned to look into the face of K

I saw you with that creep what did he want?

he was going to tell me how to find you I said

humph she went he knows I come here most days

around this time to meet up with friends

about then I thought of punta arenas

before you get to the town the smell of the slaughterhouse

attaches to you your nose clogs infects your clothes

today was the stink of the man who’d played me

worked the odds for a drink or two

just a hustler hustling

the only thing he knows

Paris in the morning

sitting at the sidewalk cafe

sipping on café crème

a cognac on the side

feeling all greyed out

wondering if it was too early for a cigar

in the distance I can hear the ting ting

of a small iron bell

in front of me a streetsweeper

arranges a bundle of carpet

to guide the water down the gutter

& without thought the wonder comes on

how where does he live?

a wife a lover with his mother?

is he hungover too?

I come back to the café my coffee getting cold

take a sip there then a sip of the cognac

feeling the warmth come on

& begin to think of my lover

our affair growing cold

back there in the hotel

wondering what today will bring