worst part

of growing up

moving away from toys

to being interested in people

was finding the lie

everything it seemed

was made

composed of great lies

my parents marriage

school rules

rules on the street

bullshit on the tv

the closer I looked

the more I saw

the smoke & mirrors

illusion

difference between

what people said

& what they actually did

owes me nothing

took her from the street

not a rescue cat

more a dog afraid

of being beat

& we loved each other

for a little while

left me standing then

her time had moved on

her drum sounding

to another time another guy

left me on my own two feet

& if I was grateful

for anything

she had shown love at all

when I thought that

had gone another way

she owes me nothing

though back then

I felt she owed me more

just two strays

walking down the street

together for a little while

that’s all

doing all the doing

he’s got a moan going

I get lonely too

so I remind him

phones go both ways y’know

though he wants to be contacted

one of those people

who think if you love them

you’ll be the one

doing all the doing

& she says plaintive

nobody talks anymore

not a one knocking

on any of my doors

so I remind her

you got shoes for your feet

can take you down any

avenue road or street

can go knocking loud

on anybody’s doors

as she sighs

I don’t do that anymore

& these are the people

who need me & you to chase

do all the work

keep the wheels greased

help them get through

their lives their days

be there

& we have to remind them

we don’t carry their load

lay the world at their feet

we will not be

doing any of that

anymore

suddenly I see me

waiting for the woman

outside a downtown cafe

we’re to go have coffee

& suddenly I see me

coming out of a shop

another walking down the street

those fellas sitting on benches

these chaps chatting with friends

I am everywhere

tens of me

cluttering up the place

& I could be any of these men

this one those him being around

if I had taken a different path

met other people

stayed longer there

run away sooner with her

cut my hair short

put in that sad side parting

stayed on at school

made black my colour

asked for more

settled for less

& she arrives smiling

what’cha thinking about?

oh nothing I say

just watching the world go by

as we decide on flat whites today

hadn’t yet understood

one of those chance encounters

fella is talking in the street

got a cause to support

& he wants us to be just that

I stand & listen for a while

thinking of counters

support in equal measure

& as I clear my throat

to offer my pennyworth

he gives me a look

makes it clear

he’s taken in my shoes

lack of dress code

to suit his beliefs

& I close my mind too

walk on

wet brain in the rain again

coming home late

& there she was

standing corner of the street

hello baby she said

its been a long time

she started kissing me

holding my hands

staring into my eyes

feel my stocking tops

take me home got whispered

so I did if wondering the why

though my mind on overtime

was saying don’t go there again

I got her drink vodka on ice

while she sat chewing her cheek

is just like old times she smiled

& I had no questions to ask

didn’t want the answers to hear

we got between the sheets

& soon she was sleeping out flat

as I lay back satisfied unsatisfied

wondering how long before

all this shit turned sour

& sure enough around three

she woke up dug me in the ribs

what the fuck am I doing here?

did you do me while I was asleep?

I helped get her dressed

while she told me over & over

what a shit I was

she had no memory of meeting me

wanting me to take her home

eventually I pushed her out the door

the waiting cab door open

to take out the trash

until the next time

thankfully

the street was crowded

& I could turn away

before she saw me

hide in a shop doorway

watching head down

as she passed by

reflected in the glass

how different

from then

when I could feel her

across a crushed room

in a busy street

& she could feel me too

anywhere

an ache of want

heat in my bones

& today thankfully

all of that has gone

the guy at the desk

says come back in twenty

there will be a table then

& I take her to a bar over the way

& as we walk in

one of the ladies is cackling

I had to walk home my panties in my bag!

& I see her beside begin to sniff the air

like a horse in the first race

might refuse to jump

its ok I say lets get a quick drink & go

don’t worry a thing these are my people

I know how to handle bums like these

& I smile easy at the barmaid

& she nods as welcome home

just where have you been?

we stayed awhile the table could wait

as we sat & listened to the noise

tales of rough living low life

walking the street

as she beside sipped & relaxed

the world had brought theatre

right there at her feet

no better than me

Kings fortune maybe a ransom

what I wouldn’t give back then

to keep you beside me

hold your love close

feel you inside again

& now I see you standing

there in the street

butter would not melt

on your icy smiles

lips tight on your teeth

but hey

I knew you baby

back when

you were no better than me

there is no kings fortune

maybe the ransom

could make me take you back

I was but a love sick fool

for not knowing

if it wasn’t for the money

my better days coming

were going to be for free

but you had to leave