Drunk in Brussels

  

She is talking to me through the air

“Where will we go ne-“

A hand burnt on hand
A hand on a handburn
A hazy half-ternoon hand

“wasn’t that Accordian player -“

Sun.
Fingers crashing into beer
glass that is lifted,
By Magic!

A slurping of fizzy brown

Next-door mouths babble and sing
what language is
that
or, the language of

Drink

The mint leaves in his glass
Light coddled warm

Sliding up the wall, His head is the
centre of time

Green are trees
Head is shaking her girl
in the corner

His Open is shirt in the
Sky.

“sorry, I’m so sorry, but do you mind if I put the milk away?”

maybe
I like to muse, there’s
a polished reserve of
serrated kitchen knives
slotted neatly inside
the leg of your pink jeans
 
maybe
you have an anecdote so criminal
that everyone at the party
has to laugh forcefully
into their beers
hiding their secret terror
at your misdoings
 
but for now, the people sigh again
at your nervous giggles and
your paranoia at offending them
 
I think
if pushed a notch too hard
you would dissolve into an
all-American puddle
 

Overhung

I’m splayed on the carpet
a bad-mannered starfish clutching my toes

half a piece of toast hangs from my mouth like an old bauble on a Christmas tree
my hair is seaweed,
dancing in
greasy, disgusting tangles around my neck

in ten minutes I will
stand in the shower and dissolve,
skull against the tiles
for now I’ll just lie back on these crumbs

last night… sloshes around my head like
soggy gym shoes thrown from a car

the scraps keep appearing
churning out groans like a compost bin

I plummeted from the dance floor
onto a pair of eyelinered fish heads
sucking out each other’s gills in time to Kanye,
swaggering nasty through the throng

I think I smiled clumsily and retrieved politely
the slice of lime
that had fallen on her head from my glass

then, failing to care, I flailed my jelly arms
back into the strobe light wonderland of
whoever’s kitchen it was

My toast is as soggy as the gym shoes now
I must have dribbled into its charred, miserable crusts
Where’s mum?

At least on this sad, sad morning there is coffee, that jolly little Italian waiting in the cupboard. He’ll help!

There was this other bit where
I was talking to the wall and you came up behind me
putting one drink in my hand, one hand on my waist
my silly drunk waist
I turned around to your grin, and all the noise stopped
my eyes lolled from the bridge of your Roman nose to the sharp line of your chin to your neck and I grinned back, foolish like a schoolgirl
but there was…something

until, in the shaky blur
you were gone, replaced by a fridge
and I realised I was standing
head over the sink
alone

This coffee isn’t working
after one sloppy sip,
I’m betrayed by the aftertaste
like a grotty homeless man’s sneer

He’s staring at me now,
a foggy, motherless mammal
knotted up in flannel pyjamas

Shutting all the blinds
I grovel myself away
little worm that I am
off to the shower
in hope of another chance at my sunny, life-affirming Sunday morning.

Pub night


There’s that couple
I watch flatly, an ugly slice of lemon hanging from my lip
 
A smart purple tie next to me
gesticulating into his beer
 
That song from a dream
gurgling softly in my head
 
A man laughs too loud,
Slaps his knee after every plump silence
 
The pub atmosphere is hollow
and brown
 
On the cover it’s all smiles
Inside it’s grubby ice
 
Walking out I say thanks to the wall
giving up to the night.