Lunchtimes, I leave, walk the high street.
Look at clothes, banter with the smokers,
stand in bus shelters, pretend I’m waiting
to go to another high street just like this.
I browse through charity shops.
Smell for real leather, strum book pages
read the cover then place them back.
Food becomes a point of conversation,
’The basis of all human relationships,’
I say in the staff dining room, when I return.
Wait to hear reactions rise and well,
they do. ‘Funny you should say that…’
Funny too how when arriving home
I change my clothes and ponder why, in grief,
a body finally feels more trim, less full.
I leave food marooned on the plate and
wait. Getting drunk is now a carnival.
A combination of light and stirred talk
with a cocktail stick. ‘Really deep down we’re all six,’
I add to justify my dance moves on the floor.

Sometimes I crash in others’ flats.
Take your tee shirt from a bag and feel
prepared to sleep, knowing I’ll wake to tea, a laugh.
Some tired sympathy dulled by a walk in the park,
before I board the bus to come home and crash
again to unmarked work and crap
CDs bought because ‘They remind me of
someone I once knew.’ Bathing is a holiday.
Gleaming like a mortal sin, I really want the night
to pass, to let the morning start again.
Three months of this.
Just work and chat and getting pissed.
At night you slump beside me.
My hands are on my ears. I’m afraid of
familiar words. I shift, the bed creaks.
I am exact about my side of the bed.
I put my hand under your pillow,
touch the seam ‘Just go away.’
I cram my mouth into the sheets,
‘I don’t believe in ghosts you know.‘