the light coming in from the street

is so bright

all I see of the people

between me & the open doors

are silhouettes

occasionally raising a hand

for more cervesas

wine

tapas

but I hear them

loud

in the corner a small child laughs

& the delight in the sound

shivers the room

raising the joy

& the noise grows again

a pulse of life

on this spring Sunday afternoon

we too are stuffing our faces

bites of this

tastes of the country

olives garlic onions sausage chorizo

the hubbub lows for a few minutes

as one group leaves

to be replaced by other black profiles

bobbing shoulders nodding heads

the raising of arms in toasts

we are all in love with each other

again

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carijillo

I was exhausted

having driven just under

a thousand miles

in a day & a half

had stopped in a Repsol

somewhere deep in Spain

had found the lower car park

away from the road

the dash & a splash car park

had wedged in between a cement truck

& a long distance haulier

sleep came fitfully

thinking of sun

& meeting you somewhere

at an airport close to the sea

waking at six

walking to the Repsol café

the long distance trucker just ahead

taking a piss

washing my hands gurning

at my white face in the dead mirror

went in for a coffee

as the trucker signalled a cake

from the pile on the counter

& in a weary gravel voice said

Carajillo

she brought over his coffee

& the Osbornes 103 brandy

Dos he said

& she poured a good measure in

he ate his cake

downed his Carajillo

& left

the last I saw of him

was his wide greasy grey arse

as he climbed into his truck

& then I felt the rest of my journey

was as good as done

life was going to be great

IKEA

if there ever was a store

anywhere in the world

designed to mess

with a mans mind

it is IKEA

these are not pop in pop out shops

they are a maze

employed to fuddle your senses

made for women

to wander & feel things

feel them deeply

imagining their nests

homes

re-invigorated

reformed

& beautiful

while their men sit in the café

drinking coffee

eating meatballs

thinking of flat pack trials to come

& just who needs murdering

to pay for all of this experience

thankfully

the street was crowded

& I could turn away

before she saw me

hide in a shop doorway

watching head down

as she passed by

reflected in the glass

how different

from then

when I could feel her

across a crushed room

in a busy street

& she could feel me too

anywhere

an ache of want

heat in my bones

& today thankfully

all of that has gone

according to you

& these things never happened

I never cried over you

stayed in my bed

not eating for weeks

walking head down

studying the ground

afraid to show the world

these red tired eyes

not worth waking up next to

& these things never happened

the years waiting for something

somebody to live by

to give love easy

make this worth living for

giving up on me

grinding on the days

four walls dying plant the tv

& these things never happened

the man in front of you

has never suffered for anything

according to you

to do

there were times

tramping the streets

broke again alone

I could feel ashamed over

things I did

thinking I had to do

just to survive

get by

& the whole world

did not seem on my side

worse it felt seemed

arrayed against

everything I tried

& I got on my knees

being nowhere else to go

& nothing changed for all of that

just one more

set of deaf ears

for a poor boy tryin’

but if I can say one thing

after

there are no medals

for being alone & dying

when you get up off those knees

take another look at the world

to learn from the indifference

of others the universe

that I was nothing special

there is permission

to do

as you please