must we? I said

lets talk about sex

must we? I said

closing down the tv

thinking

sober?

she wants this talk sober?

ok ok your initiative

you begin

well y’know when you

do that thing

I’d like it like…

like what?

y’know better

how would be better?

& I’m asking straight

in the spirit of inquiry

oh you

you know what I mean

I’m not sure I do

I do this because you like it

you’ve told me so

but now?

I knew this would be difficult

all I’m asking is

can you do it better please?

ok ok I’ll give that a shot

& you

you know that thing you won’t do…

I

AM NOT

HAVING THAT CONVERSATION

ok ok I just thought y’know

as we were talking

of doing better things…

a little crowd of nobodies

start of a new school exciting scary days

there is a black & white photograph for the local rag

ten of us eleven year old boys clutching cake

crowding around the headmasters dog

a bemused yellow retriever looking half attentive

the headmaster wags his finger for the strapline

it is against school rules to feed the dog buns or cake

as if we ever would good stuff like that lasted seconds

& I can maybe now name one or two of those kids

the headmaster yes the dog definitely no

but I know for sure we were told we were kids going places

some of us had stardom in mind for sports or university

we were being told great things lay in store for all of us

all we had to was work hard play our part keep straight on

pass the exams fulfil all the group be a team player aims

to become local town lawyers councilmen shopkeepers

not for us the bright lights glitter of fame & fortune

we were groomed for these better things

is what we were told & did

well

some of us anyway

seven to seven

if y’gotta ask

then the answer

is always close at hand

I was working seven to seven

& the place was a mess

& I’d ask

what is it you do all day

baby?

& she’d smile that smile

make the questions go away

until the next day

& the money would be gone

& its not as if I didn’t love her

she said she loved me true

just there are some things

leaves a man feeling blue

& one day she was gone

note tucked in the mirror

gone to better things x

& I’m still working seven to seven

the place is still a mess

& a man wonders as he tries to sleep

is the smile worth all that

or is the price just too steep?