and gorged on words,
he straightens faded dust jackets:
Barthes, de Beauvoir, Brautigan.
Thin skeins of nicotine dissipate
over ancient oak, whispers echo
amongst carved shelves.
Thoughts weave their tangled web
through the melancholic mess
of his marching mind.
And nobody knows.
Blinking back daylight,
Spring rain re-awakens his senses.
Wedding parties board trains unnoticed,
differently dressed girls in lemons and ochres
Old Mr Bleaney meanders,
counting his failures,
blind to the eyes that whisk him deeply into memory,
guarding him jealously
behind stone doors.
Bechet’s notes haunt twilight’s seeping darkness.
Smirking under round spectacles,
knowing he’ll never understand women
or any of their natureless ecstasies,
what he supposes them to be;
somewhere a nib scratches black ink on torn parchment:
a crescendo to end all ends,
“what will survive is love”.