I see you

someone

who looks like you

& I miss a beat

a way of biting

inner cheek

& you

those long legs

how you bent over

to see things in the street

not that I want to meet you

just that I still think

of you

sometimes

what could

might’ve been

if you weren’t you

& I wasn’t me

I miss the thing

we did not have

could not create

much as I love

roses in winter

a wry word tip of the tongue

that can’t be found

turning to look in the forest

for wraiths not there

I remember night

being dark & all

bruv Dave, the dog & me

in my little black mini

had just failed my driving test

the inspector said:

do more miles son, you’ll be fine

we had a full tank of gas

bag of sandwiches

& forgot the dog food

set out late afternoon

follow the signs for London

said bruv

so I did

through London

cars coming at me

all directions

stalled twice at junctions

to the beeping horns of others

& that don’t help

at all

out the far side

head north said bruv

so I did

filled up with gas

ate some sandwiches

Yana, the dog, was hungry

so we fed her sandwiches too

all we had

it was a sharing thing

heading north

the mini developed a fault

full power one second

none the next

having to indicate

pull over quick as can

then the power would come back

we’d set off again

the dog got farty

began to whine

at the next traffic jam

we pulled to the side

she got out

ripped a huge pile

there

on the side of the road

she got back in

we drove on

take a right

so I did

stopped for a beer

some locals night out

wanting to punch my face in

back in the car

slept

farting dog

sunrise

woke us up

take a right

so I did

out along the coast

with red light

yellows & then gold

the dog was hungry

stopped for gas

gave her the insides of a meat pie

drove on

so few cars about

then getting busier as the day awoke

the dog kept farting

or was it bruv?

I was beginning to have suspicions

the car kept stopping

starting

I drove on

arriving in our home city

four lanes & traffic lights with a queue

dog in distress

let the dog out

pile in the middle of the highway

she jumped back in

just as the lights changed

& we

it

was done

gone

we stopped

out of gas

cigarettes

energy

time for each other

the dog needed feeding

exercise

fresh air

we all did

I passed my test

two days later

What could

What I could be

was never quite plain

though

what I wasn’t

was made abundantly clear

plethora of more

shibboleths

taboos

half truths piled up

than I could see horizon over

don’ts filled my days

feared my dreams

all experimentation was wrong

keeping safe the key

be like us the mantra

& that scared me most

their deep unhappiness

so evident

in everything they did

dare not do

that settling for less

coloured my every moment

this was not love

some slighted care

it was choke

kill the dreams

with whatever was at hand

& the head will follow

Mile after year

Mile after mile

year after year

I’d & then later, we’d

travel to go see ‘my people’

to sit in rooms recently redecorated

in the bland new style

counting the milestones

was it millstones

of our ways

talking of what’s new

happened to old

people who’d moved on

from place

this life

mostly ghosts to me anyways

it being so long

since I’d lived among them

we’d talk of our doings

events

to passive faces

holding still

making sure we didn’t frighten

with tales of our ways

& then mile after mile

year after year

we’d head back home

no sense of accomplishment

only that duty

honour had been done

until next year

seeing how the road changes

new signs

twists & turns

staring straight ahead

wondering just who

will blink first

I was what

five nine at the time

the blonde in bare feet

held six three

my friends’d gag

do you need a box

meet her on a hill?

as they were more

than gently intimidated

she had looks

was built like a true amazon

bobby crumb would be in love

had height

& was great fun

could hang wallpaper

without steps

see over the crowd at the bar

to catch bartenders eyes

get the drinks

she was stand out alright

I was never quite sure

what she saw in me

then we had a row

something about stuff

I’d said

not said

& she loomed over me

said: watch it mister

or what

I thought

she picked me up

quite softly

considering

moved me to the side

& went into her kitchen

I made it to the door

let it snick silently behind

& walked away

yeah

I was intimidated

too

Those side mirrors

that say

objects in the mirror

may be nearer than may appear

much like things in the distance

may be bigger obstacles

than when you first view them

the leaving of the woman

who does not want to be left

has not done with you yet

finding that job

lifestyle

deserving of you

developing a clear conscience

in all that you do

just to sleep at night

allowing yourself to just be

rather than the do

demanded by others around you

delicate balance

old enough to tie floppy shoelaces

young enough to take the wild ride

when opportunity knocks

all while looking forwards

making glances

in the side mirrors

so’s not to lose sight

where you were coming from

I don’t know the words

I don’t know the words

never did

never will

to connect with you

your heart is closed to me

mind mapped shut

clear will over grey matter

last we spoke you were laughing

& I realized cold as mud

you were pushing the pain away

of what was said

to evade any of the truth

the best I can do

is to turn away

seek a brighter light

which is not to say

I will never think of you

not that you got away

from me

it was always from the better you