Canto CIII

At the old 24 hour garage, years back,
during that gay shindig in Brockwell Park,
I watched drunk lesbians shove dirty mags

into their jeans. The timid counter clerk,
behind his thick sheet of reinforced glass,
pleaded with them through his trebly mic

to put them back or he would call the police.
They laughed and carried on, calling his bluff,
knowing he’d make the call but then he’d freeze

when having to speak of litho printed muffs
and pissed up, rowdy, sapphic shoplifters.
And my appearance also raised a laugh,

my loaf of bread and rolls of shitpaper
conveyed how I would spend my Saturday night.
They knocked the whole thing down a few years later,

all boarded up, a skaghead’s paradise,
where syringe needles gleam from wild flowers,
the plans for yuppy flats have been revised

to cater for young families. Not ours.

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