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…

to the mrs. shepherds

mrs shepherd would come see me

bring a mars bar

to listen she said

to anything I might want to say

faint hopes wishes dreams

as we sipped cooling tea

smoked cigarettes

bringing to mind

the kind ladies over the years

who fed me biscuits stale cake

a sofa to sleep on

when they found me on cold nights

after I’d run away

again

these too would offer a smile

wish me well as I left

all hopes for the future

shining through the worn edge

of their kindness

slowing my runaway train

of bleak sadness

here’s to you

the mrs. shepherds

thank you

observing the phenomena myself

yummy mummy’s

there at the school gate

she spoke to me she said

because the blondes

the yummy mummy’s

would not talk to her

& I knew what she meant

observing the phenomena myself

tall stick thin blondes

always with coffee cup in hand

an air of something

that obviously I

& my new found friend

did not have

the coffee cup the large car

all that blonde hair

& the yummy going on

disappointed

banging on my door late at night

that was the word she used

disappointed

that we wouldn’t be going on together

& all she wanted

right now

was a conversation

about her disappointment

which I didn’t

figuring I’d been clear

I didn’t like her lies obfuscations

ways of being

the wanting to control

& this conversation

to me was just more of the same

against my better judgement I let her in

checking where all knives were first

instead

she threw boiling water at me

missing close as I swerved

so she called the cops

made allegations

when I physically lifted threw her out

thankfully they hauled her off

seeing the mess made

& I made sure

I moved very soon after that

y’ok?

he sidles up orders a beer

not one for me too

how y’doing?

not heard for a while

y’ok?

& we murmur some

bits of this lots of chat

nothing important just goss’

glossing over the important

so I hear you talk with Charlie?

& I know they don’t get on

yeah yeah I go y’know

he keeps in touch talks

calls now & then

& he doesn’t get it

too soon his stool is scraping

I gotta go stuff to do

keep in touch eh?

& he offers his hand

I take the limp pallid grip

be in touch he says

tho’ we both know

he never will

because I see him

as he is

bill of sale

I was floundering

out there on my own

& the suggestion came

time to talk to someone son

found my way to

went & talked to the doctor lady

she told me plain

I might be missing components

raised from the cradle

the way I was

I’d keep picking

the wrong kind of women

but prescription there was none

meantime do the best I could

just keep on pinballin’

hitting the bumpers soft easy

until fate brought me

to the right one

as friends

I could not give you love

believe me I tried

had to walk away

from what you had going on

not that you were unkind

just that your life mine

could not find a way

be entwined

I saw your hurt face

the one I’d rather hide

turned mine away

picked up my stride

tho’ I had nowhere to go

I know you told people

I swear he has a Judy

somewhere tucked away

bitch there on the side

I found a cheap room

flopped down on the spot

picked myself up next day

a poor pay job by the hour

started over again slow

& it would be years before

we could talk once more

as friends

happy pills

he told me

a little while before he died

they told him he was depressed

put him on the happy pills

& I knew I could not try

begin to explain

the shit he’d gone through

& keeping everything inside

is the cause the reason

alpha to omega due

the happy pills would do nothing

help in any easing of pain

the only way out to talk

& I knew saying let it rain

let everything go was no good

to this silent warrior

always stood tall mute no matter

the night freezing dark ice snow hail

everything thrown his way

would not help him find the sun

this or any other day

talk they said

come in take a seat

be comfortable

tell us what’s going on

& I noticed straightway

she kept the desk between

leaning on a new note pad

used the word us

which meant we

that anything I said here

would be shared

& I wanted to scream

shout out loud long

the shit going on

but had felt the thin door

the people sitting outside

so I swallowed that down

kept everything schtum

I see here you’ve been disruptive

getting into trouble in class

so what’s going on?

& where to begin

with this nice lady

not a hair out of place?

I knew how this would run

to give even a morsel

would bring down

another if different

world of pain

well ok if you won’t talk

be very careful

we’re keeping our eyes on you

letting me know now

I was the lucky one

to be holding all the badness

while everybody around

only reflected sun

2wice

there were few times

the man offered me advice

on life love other things

we were so opposed

he couldn’t talk clear

& I could not hear

the first time

he was nervous

of friends I had

& the second

was about lovers

telling me to be careful

make sure I had the right one

while I stared hard at him

the first of his ran away

& the second

could not do care

look after him at all

care for him me be kind

& the day he died

gave away his clothes

bundled for the charity