never quite the whole

she was telling the world

at least our small part of

that I was the angry man

she had to get out

fast as while she can

& she was not wrong

even if she didn’t tell all

never quite the whole plan

I’d get home after a long day

she’d gone out the flat iron on

burning through the counter

or the stepping out old flame

while I was late shift working

coming home morning bird songs

finding strange lingerie flung

expecting me to be clear up man

& if I thought this was love

it was never quite the whole

due to a hungry angry working man

kir s’il vous plait

dirty sign side of the road

washed dark with tyre spray

single bulb lighting FRITES

& I was hungry enough to stop

parked up went in through a dark door

to a just opened easy food smell

a little brunette smiled b’jour

offered me a table close to her

& I realised I’d not spoken

for close on to two days

hearing my voice rasp slow

kir s’il vous plait

which surprised her some

she brought that & a plastic menu

drifted back to her kitchen

while I pondered over steak or burger

could this be love?

I ordered the steak & of course frites

which she brought with a smile

a cold beer from the presion tap

suggested bon’appetit & was gone

while I wished we could talk more

after eating I ordered a café crem grande

& still nobody else had appeared

I thanked her paid fifteen euros

left a tip sighed a’voir thinking adios

creaked through the door into the rain

out into my world of driving & silence

once more

not to interfere

Bar Ato Huesca

mebbe 2 in the afternoon

I’d driven through the pyrennees

needed food

& I belly up to the bar

say cerveza por favour

& the man goes wha?

with his hand to his ear

&  i repeat cerveza por favor presion

& the pantomime goes on

so I point at the pump

do my own mimic indicate small

& he poured me a beer

later I suggest raciones?

point to olives meatballs in tomato

chorizo swimming in oil

he brings me bread & a fork

& all becomes good in the world

just as at the end of the bar

another pale anglo comes in

she walks up slow

looking around nervous

says un café con leche

por favor

& the mime act starts over again

as suddenly I get it

for these Spanish locals

we are too quiet

undemanding & shy

here you need volume

to beat the background noise

silently I urge her to shout

as I’ve learned the hard way

not to interfere

as her gaze sweeps over me

just another unhelpful man

in this world of sweated boys

not on me

I was led

by my genes

by appetite

feeling

horny

hungry

needing something

keep me awake at night

& if any of that hurt you

well I’d like you to know

none of that was about you

but I wouldn’t be

horny hungry have an appetite

if you’d kept me sweet

helped me stay home at night

hoping to find

I was walking

following one foot in & facing front

seemed the only thing to do

no money

no place to go or be

& sometimes people fell in

alongside leading or behind

onetime at a bus station

this kid hushed psst! come with me

I followed back of the café

& he offered empty ice cream cartons to lick

best you’ll find around here he said

I politely declined his kind offer

which only seemed to offend

your problem mister is

you’re not hungry enough

& that I had to accept as true

I was walking hoping to find

& the right kind of find

had not happened

yet