I want to stop hearing
the footsteps of the rejected
shuffle around empty apartments
in their dressing gowns,
clutching their phones for fear
they’ll miss that call,
the ‘I miss you too’ call.
I want to stop hearing the sound of
late night restaurant workers clocking out,
carrying half-loaves under their arms.
I do not want them to miss the last tube tonight.
I don’t want to hear the sound of
people on night buses,
or to think of keys turning in doors
where all the milk’s gone
and there’s no sugar for the tea.
I want people to get home safe tonight,
to catch the news at six,
to place their heartbreaks and payslips
in the drawer beneath the cutlery,
the one reserved for old stubs of birthday candles,
batteries and Blu-Tack.
I want to reverse the shuffle
of the night-gowned dejected
and mix it with some smokey blues.
I want them to wash their hair, go out,
drink something short and neat,
cry while singing Macy Gray
but still get picked up at the end of the night.
I want to know that everybody has to do this same shuffle—
to come to on a stranger’s couch,
pick your way over the bodies,
drink what’s left of the mixers,
walk out the door
and start again.