in memory of Nicky, Lisa and Anna


Train Wreck

The last time you missed me it was with a rock at my window
and the last time I missed you was when I had that book
I wanted to give you but I didn’t because you’d got a dog then
and you looked contented. Believe it or not I think
I might have been jealous of it but I told myself
going on precedent there’s a good chance we’ll just wreck this
so I left it and at Christmas you texted saying I miss you already
and I said what is it with us? What is it?
And you just sent xxxs.
We were a train wreck and I already miss you.

I want you back

And I’ll remember Cuba Nightclub
you dancing to the Jackson 5,
us fizzing out into Eyre Square later
with you telling me no day-trippers need apply,
not some Month’s Mind notice
on a shop window in the rain years later
insisting that you’ve died.

Second Hand

You’ll open the slim book
you bought for two euros in the second-hand shop;
Sartre, what else? On its title page you’ll find
your friend’s name written in blue ink.
Small town this is, the smallest.
You’ll flick through it to the page
where she’s got the words anguish
abandonment and despair underlined in red
and you’ll find you’ve nothing left to say.


You’ll stop in front of the pharmacy
thinking of tranquillisers but knowing
the nerve endings that are holding you up
would give way in a clock tick
if you gave them the slightest excuse.
You won’t let them. That’s vital.
You’ll go in though and sit in the photo booth.
You’ll feed coins to it and take what it offers:
four little squares with your face on them
proof of some kind or another.
Proof your own flesh couldn’t give you.

Lost Souls and Popcorn

And I’ll see boys who look like you
and you and you and me on screen
in stolen-afternoon cinema trips
where everyone’s an orphan
where everyone’s cast out and timeless
and I’ll know at the outset there’s no future in it
but I’ll sit through it mouth open.
I’ll let my popcorn fall unnoticed:
even though I know who did it and who didn’t
I’ll watch the credits till they’re finished.
I’ll watch the credits till they’re finished.
I’ll watch the credits till they’re finished.